Anticipation around 'Google Circles', a supposed social networking offering from the search engine behemoth, is still doing the rounds on the internet despite an official confirmation from the company that it will not be unveiling anything new at the ongoing South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas.
Google Circles, tauted by Google-enthusiasts as Facebook and Twitter killer, was rumored to be launched at the SXSW 2011.
With the noise over the internet giant's social networking site growing louder, Google stepped in to dispel the rumors that the launch was scheduled during the SXSW 2011.
A tweet from @googlesxsw read, We're not launching any products at #SXSW but we're doing plenty else.
After the tweet was interpreted as denial of the hearsays on the launch of Circles at the high-profile SXSW, the company went ahead to assert that no such thing as 'Circles' exists.
Google's Chris Messina told NetworkEffect that he didn't know what [the story] was talking about. Messina, who had been pegged as one of the leaders of Circles, along with others at the event reportedly said the company is not launching its own social network.
Messina, who was photographed wearing a T-shirt that read 'I am Feeling Social', also added that while the search giant was trying to discover ways to understand the subtleties of social relationships and build such functionality into its various products, Circles is not a product currently in development.
Messina's contention was not new as he merely restated what Google's chief executive Eric Schmidt indicated in September 2010 that a social layer would be introduced to all Google products.
The circle of confusion over 'Google Circles' seems to have emerged from a tweet posted by Tim O'Reilly, a known technology pundit.
I've seen google circles, and it looks awesome, O'Reilly had tweeted inspiring several speculative media reports.
O'Reilly later clarified to NetworkEffect, It's not a product, per se, and it's not a new social network. Just some research-y thinking about how you could better manage social data.
'Google Circles' is not the first supposed social network salvo from the search engine giant. There have been earlier reports of 'Google Me', 'Google Loop', 'Google+1' among others.
Over the present two years, Google has also launched two attempts at social networking fame but failed. While Buzz failed to generate many users and prompted accusations that the company was breaching privacy, Google Wave failed to take off after its beta release caused concern over its complicated nature.
The anticipation of a social networking site from Google has specially escalated since the decline of Orkut, which was widely attributed to the growth of Mark Zuckerburg's Facebook. In the present scenario, Google will not only have to take on Facebook but will also face a fair amount of competition from the microblogging site Twitter as well, if it does choose to launch a networking site.