Google Social Network Lets Users Keep Conversations Separate

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Google has launched some new features for its Orkut social network, which is popular in Brazil and India, though it has been trumped by Facebook in India according to new comScore data.

Some believe the new features may represent some general social media thinking on Google's part, which could potentially make an appearance in Google's rumored "Google Me" social media project. This is purely speculation, but certainly not outside the realm of possibility.

Orkut now lets users group friends, as seen in the following clip:

"To make it easier for you to interact with your groups of friends, now you can open them from your homepage. Your groups will always be a click away from you, on the top of the page," explains Orkut product management director Victor Ribeiro. "When you click a group (for example, 'college friends'), you'll see updates, photos, videos and activities only from people who are part of that group. If you want to write them something, the scrap editor will automatically select everyone in the group and the privacy will be set to "Private" so you can share information that is relevant to that group only. And, of course, you can change that privacy setting before sending the message."

"We know that sometimes we invite someone from work to a family party or we bring a gym friend to the office happy hour. That means: sometimes our groups of friends mix together. Thinking of this, you can easily add or remove as many people as you want from the recipients of a scrap," adds Ribeiro. "Oh, and yes, remember that the groups are yours only. Nobody else will know the names of your groups of friends. When you send something to the entire group, people will know who else can see the message, but they will not know the name you chose for the group within your orkut. Also, you can change and edit your groups whenever you want, the way you want it!"

Facebook lets you group friends, and Twitter has lists, but these are more designed for your intake of information, as opposed to your output. If you tweet or post a status update, it's still going to all of your friends/followers.

Ribeiro talks about more new Orkut features here.

Chris Crum

Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.