Google gets into the social swing

There’s a small army of Google-watchers out there, and one of the best has to be Ionut Chitu at Google Operating System, who regularly comes up with things that others miss (Google Blogoscoped is another one). And last night, he posted about an interesting move by the Web behemoth to expand its social-networking features by adding something called Google Shared Stuff.

social_penguin1.jpgThe new service isn’t exactly easy to get to, since you have to add a bookmarklet, and it isn’t exactly revolutionary — as both Ionut and Tony Ruscoe of Google Blogoscoped describe it, it is a fairly simple service that allows you to share links with your friends. You can create a rudimentary profile (mine is here) and that’s about it.

One interesting thing about Google Shared Stuff — apart from that thrillingly original name — is that it doesn’t try, as so many similar services do, to replace existing tools such as Digg or Delicious.com (which is like a backup brain for me). By clicking on a button after you share a link, you can easily post it to Delicious or Facebook, Reddit, Digg or Furl.

I also found it odd — as Ian Betteridge does — that Google’s new sharing service doesn’t integrate items that are shared with Google Reader, but perhaps that is coming. Radioactive Yak and others believe this could be the first piece of Google’s rumoured “Maka-maka” social net. Marshall Kirkpatrick at Read/Write Web says that it still needs a bit of work, and he is right.

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