Google Circles Rears Its Head Again, This Time in the Form of Source Code at Google Profiles

Google has tried time and time again to deny this rumor, but it won’t die.  Google Circles was rumored to be Google’s Facebook competitor after Google Buzz failed to do any damage. Google confirmed that they were working on code for something like a Facebook-centric social network, but it was said to only be a […]

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Google has tried time and time again to deny this rumor, but it won’t die.  Google Circles was rumored to be Google’s Facebook competitor after Google Buzz failed to do any damage. Google confirmed that they were working on code for something like a Facebook-centric social network, but it was said to only be a labs project (possibly a 20% project from a Googler). Tim O’Reilly, who tweeted that he “saw Google Circles, and it looks awesome”, later deleted that tweet and worked awfully hard to clarify what he meant.

So we know Google is working on something – they haven’t flat-out denied it. But it could be bigger than they’re letting on. New source code with the word “circles” mentioned in the context of social networking has been uncovered by one Florian Rohrweck. He said he found the code hiding in plain site inside the javascript elements on Google Profiles, a site Google says will help users get their name and whatever information they want shown in search results when people like human resource agents search for them.

Google Profiles is laid out almost exactly like a Facebook page, save for the absence of any social networking functionality. If Google Circles was just a “research-y” project, why is code related to it embedded in Google Profiles? It would make no sense to test this code on a public site without any intention of merging the two projects.

Even if the code is useless to end-users right now, they have been doing more than just research. Google makes it clear that they’d like to get into social networking every time the question is posed and it seems Google Circles could end up being their way into the fold. [The Next Web]

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