Google’s antisocial downside, and others have turned heads for their skyrocketing traffic and massive appeal among young people, who flock to the sites by the millions to bond via photos, videos, blogs, e-mail and instant messaging. Meanwhile, top portals MSN and Yahoo, threatened by the prospect of losing favored-site ranking to MySpace, have begun to organize their applications around social networking, as well.

But Google’s 2-year-old social network Orkut–which connects friends and friends of friends around shared interests, but does not include blogging or video features–has lagged in the popularity contest. It’s still not widely available and has yet to adopt the Google brand. “It proved to be a problem for Google so now they’re watching it,” said Stephen Arnold, author of “The Google Legacy,” referring to accusations that Orkut members promoted gang-related violence in countries like Brazil.

But as Google takes time to tinker with another one of its many young services, competitors are fast encroaching on the company’s other turf.

Blogger, for example, was the Web’s top blog-publishing tool when Google bought it in February 2003. Although Google hasn’t turned the service into a full-on social network, Nielsen/NetRatings considers blogging a social activity

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One response to “Google’s antisocial downside

  1. Pingback: What’s New Media? » Blog Archive » Web as info superhighway or block party?

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