It’s always a little strange looking at the origin of rumors in the technology field – and that’s especially true when journalists and bloggers are claiming that “new product” came from an official announcement. Such is the case with “Google Circles,” the newest title given to Google’s social network, which was allegedly announced at South by Southwest over the weekend.
The problem is that Google never made the announcement, and that Google representatives – including Chris Messina, who is part of Google’s social division – have outright denied the claims of the story. They won’t comment, however, on the Google Circles name, or the supposed advantages that are rumored to accompany the release of this (mythical?) product.
According to the initial reports, Google Circles is designed to be a social product that integrates pictures, videos, and status updates, but allows for greater privacy for users. This includes through sending messages only to specific groups – which sounds quite a lot like Beluga, a mobile project designed by former Googlers.
So, will Google be giving us “Circles” in the upcoming months? It’s hard to say. We certainly know that the company will be entering the social scene (they’ve been excruciatingly clear on that point), but the name (“Google+1,” “GoogleMe,” “Google Circles,” or even “Emerald Sea”) isn’t certain, nor are the advantages. Most analysts are eagerly awaiting further news at Google I/O, where full-length presentations of upcoming projects are usually made, and which would serve as an ideal opportunity for Google to present a social service.