Google's Facebook-Fighting Social-Network to Emerge in Waves

Google this fall plans to infuse its core products with elements of social networking, said Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, ratcheting up the Internet giant's rivalry with Facebook.

Speaking Tuesday at the Google Zeitgeist conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., Mr. Schmidt said Google hoped to at least get access to Facebook users' contact lists so that people can grow their social network on Google. He said, without elaborating, that Google's products would incorporate more social-networking elements later this year.

"The best thing that would happen is for Facebook to open up its data," Mr. Schmidt said. "Failing that, there are other ways to get that information." He declined to be specific.

Mr. Schmidt's comments come as Google, Mountain View, Calif., has been developing a rival to Facebook, the largest social-networking service with more than 500 million users who share photos, comments and website links with a network of friends. The new service is known internally as Google Me, according to people familiar with the matter.

YouTube, Google's online video service, is one product that will incorporate more social-networking elements, said people familiar with the matter. Google is working on ways to notify users when a particular video is being watched by many friends in their network, these people said.

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In its new service, Google will attempt to allow users on the Google site to access information they created on many other sites including Twitter and Yahoo's Flickr, the photo-sharing service, according to people familiar with the matter.

A Facebook spokesman didn't immediately have a comment.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.