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Me, myself and Eric: Google delays social network effort, says report

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Google has reportedly delayed the official launch of a social network it’s understood to be quietly mothering until spring next year.

According to Mashable, the so-called “Google Me” virtual playground – which the Mountain View Chocolate Factory has declined to directly comment on – will land in March or April of 2011.

Speculative reports about Google Me sprung up in July this year, when the Wall Street Journal said that the ad broker was in talks with Disney-owned Playdom Inc and the Zynga Game Network about offering games on its own social network.

It was suggested at the time that the Facebook challenger would be released before the end of 2010.

Mashable reported yesterday that the date had been pushed back by Google, whose not-really-all-that-secret top secret project is being headed up by the firm’s engineering veep Vic Gundotra.

Google said in a we're-not-really-telling-you-anything-at-this-point statement about its latest social network aspirations:

“We’re always experimenting with new ways to improve our products, and we have already confirmed that we are focused on incorporating social elements across Google.”

Of course, Mountain View already has a social network named Orkut, but it is losing its grip – even in markets where it had been successful, such as Brazil and India.

The company has also failed to offer its users an agreeable alternative to Facebook and suffered an extremely embarrassing privacy backlash when it bolted Buzz onto Gmail without first consulting its millions of loyal email fans. ®

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