WSJ: Google Is Developing a Potential Facebook Rival

Google is trying to develop a rival to Facebook, the Wall Street Journal reports.The Wall Street Journal reports that Google (GOOG), the Internet search giant that's recently lost share in the search business, is developing a potential competitor to Facebook, the social-networking behemoth with half a billion members. Google is in talks with several makers of online games to help develop the Facebook competitor, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter whom it didn't name.

According to the Journal report, among the companies that Google is talking to about helping it with a new gaming offering, as part of a broader social networking strategy, are Electronic Arts's (ERTS) Playfish; Playdom, which Walt Disney (DIS) just bought for $563.2 million; and Zynga Game Network, which Google recently invested in.

The online social-networking world is dominated by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. Facebook recently overtook Google's number of page views to become the most visited website.

Here's the rest of the Journal story. For a broader picture of the growing rivalry between Google and Facebook, see Game On: Google Woos Zynga, Others as War with Facebook Looms.
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