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Google's social 'problem' doesn't involve building Facebook rival

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Google has once again gone on record to deny suggestions that the company is in the process of building its own social network to rival Facebook.

Mountain View’s mobile product development boss Hugo Barra made the comment in response to a question at the Monaco Media Forum yesterday.

"We're not working on a social network platform that's just going to be another social network platform," he said, reports Reuters.

"We do think that social is an ingredient for success for any app going forward, search and advertising being probably the best two examples that I would mention. So that's how we're thinking about the problem."

It’s interesting that Barra described grappling with coming up with social products as a “problem” for the internet giant. But then Buzz, Wave and Orkut have all failed to set the interwebs on fire. So no wonder he's a bit touchy about slotting social propositions into the company's online search and ads estate.

Meanwhile, this past week Google’s frostiness towards Facebook has become decidedly chillier. The Mountain View Chocolate Factory has been trying to stop more of its talent from leaving Google for Facebook, by offering all its employees a 10 per cent pay rise.

At the same time, it’s yanked Gmail contacts from Facebook because the Mark Zuckerberg-run firm wasn’t willing to extend a friendly "Mi Casa Su Casa" to Google. ®

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