Undetered by the feeding frenzy around the social networking bubble, and rebuffed by Friendster Inc, which it attempted to buy, Google has decided to build one better. Given Friendster's well-documented problems with coping with a large number of users, and Google's world class expertise in scalability, it ought to be more than up to the technical challange. But will it pay?
A tsunami of VC money poured into social networking start-ups last year, although how the companies themselves monetize the users is far from clear. "How many people will pay even $10 or even $5 a month, when they have access to their Outlook Express inbox for free?" Andrew Cornu, CEO of the successful dating network FriendFinder, wondered here last November. Other would-be social networking ventures decided against simply cloning Friendster, such as the Hot Or Not spin-off moblog, Yafro.
If you must, you can go and start networking here. You'll need an invitation from an existing member. ®