The Google Social: Buys Jambool, shows Circle, stares down Facebook

August 9, 2010: 4:32 PM ET

Google's move into social is starting to stress out Facebook.

Pickups:
Google has bought fake online money company Jambool for ~$70 million in real money (well $15 million of that is in earnouts). Social Gold is a direct competitor with Facebook Credits for social currency that act as payments to developers and game companies.  Just in time, because Google picked up social gaming site Slide last week for $220 million or so.

Circle:
Google keeps tabs on your Social Circle and uses this information to help give you search results.  Want to know what Google has on you?  Click here. (prepare to be unsettled).

There on the page is everyone you know along with everywhere they go -- or at least the online destinations they've decided to publish, presumably.The list contains people you talk or chat with using Gmail or Google Talk, plus your social networking connections from a wide variety of Google and non-Google services. For each person in your circle, it then shows the services they use, and also their blogs and other streams.

This looks like the very beginnings of the GoogleMe project to me.

Facebook in Battle Mode:
Finally, the word on the street is that Facebook is in 'War Mode' after all of these Google social pickups of late.  Peter Ha says that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg bought a neon light that says 'Lockdown' for his office door and has his programmers working overtime for the next 60 days making Facebook even better.  The office is open on weekends as the company tries to revamp Photos, Groups, and Events.

My question: What's in two months?

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About This Author
Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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