Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) CEO confirmed plans to launch a social network product this fall to counter Facebook's dominance.

Speaking at a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, CEO Eric Schmidt described the product as a "layer" that sits upon other Google products rather than a standalone product.

The fact that it is targeting Facebook was buttressed by Schmidt's comment that "the best thing that would happen is for Facebook to open up its data, failing that; there are other ways to get that information."

The much anticipated social network product from Google is likely to be named something like "Google Me." Google has been on a buying spree to build its social network ecosystem. It has collected an array of social gaming companies like Zynga and Slide, virtual currency site Jambool, Angstro -- a search tool to collate real-time information about friends and, a virtual search engine.

Google will attempt to overlay these features over its existing products rather than create a separate product, since it already has a reach through tools such as Gmail and YouTube. It recently launched Google Voice as a phone feature loaded over Gmail.http:/

There could be a flurry of such complementary products. In fact, WSJ cited that YouTube is one product that will incorporate more social-networking elements. Google is working on ways to notify users when a particular video is being watched by many friends in their network.

Stealing a slice of Facebook's 500 million pie is no easy task as users have already built an existing social data set with Facebook, thus users will need a strong incentive to migrate to a new social network. Recognizing this, Google is creating a layer over its range of products and not a comprehensive product to rival Facebook. It would possibly be an integration of Google's services with social network as the binding cord.

International Business Times, The Global Business News Leader

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