Is Google about to take on Facebook?

ANALYSIS: PCR asks if the search engine giant is about to launch a social networking site
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14 years after two bright young Stanford PhD students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, began the research project which would become the Google search engine, questions are now being asked about whether Google has what it takes to successfully adapt to the social networking revolution.

The original big idea so long ago was a technical solution to enable a search engine to deliver better results than merely counting instances of search terms. Those that began using Google in those early days, the ultra-minimalist uncluttered web design was at least as much of a draw as the better quality of search results.

The underlying philosophy behind the two approaches, technology and user relevance, would continue to guide the strategy of the company to heady heights of the modern day Internet giant. Today Google employs over 20,000 staff and has a market capitalisation of over US$150 billion dollars. However in recent years there have been a number of other rising giants in the Internet world as well as existing companies such as Microsoft investing heavily to compete with the upstarts.

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