As you may have already noticed, Google is the talk of the blogosphere for launching a new feature called Google Profiles. Users can now create a small profile page on Google with information about themselves, pictures, and links to their pages on other sites.
If you're thinking about how this will rival Facebook, you're not the only one; just about everyone is weighing in on whether Google Profiles will or will not be a Facebook killer.
Personally, I don't think Google is trying to topple Facebook, or at least not with Profiles alone. Anyone can clearly see that, compared to Facebook, the functionality of Google Profiles is very limited. It offers just a few text fields, a spot for links, and the ability to add photos. Google is promoting Profiles with the main benefit of improving people search. If you build your Profile, people who search for your name in Google will know they are looking at results about you, and not a complete stranger of the same name. So Google gets better people search functionality, and indidviduals get more control over how they appear in Google results for their name. Seems like a win-win.
Of course, Google gets additional benefits from Google Profiles. Generally speaking, the more information they have in their databases, the more power they have, whether that power manifests itself in a more personalized Google experience, better contextual ads, or something else entirely. Profiles allows Google to provide a more complete user experience, which means keeping people on the Google domain and off of others like Facebook. So do I think Profiles is a Facebook killer in itself? No. Google Profiles simply improves upon an already rich Google user experience.