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Can Google Take on Facebook?

I mocked Google's efforts with Buzz here. And they deserved it.

Now Google is rolling out the "Google + Project." Sounds like a bad band name doesn't it?

The want desperately to take on Facebook where it lives- in the "social." They've been trying with this straight up Google + (plus) thing that for all intents and purposes looks like nothing more than a glorified delicious or digg knock-off designed to be some bookmarking device? Here are some of mine:

That's not too social- but what Mashable has to show is looks promising.
Some highlights:

Sparks addresses my above concern. Using the +1 system, they are going to develop interests online and more or less become friend/associated curated content for you.

Circles- meant to directly compete with Facebook's trying to delineate your social down to more manageable chunks.
It has specific group chat and photo functions! They have a "group video chat" called "Hangouts."

They are also promising Android app integration for straight uploads.

This is promising for two big reasons:
1. Google is trying to get ahead of the curve on some of what people want out of being social on the internet.
2. They are going BACK to the limited release and DEMAND that they used when they first rolled out G-Mail.

Remember those days when people were going to give their first born for an invite? Remember when you could not get on Facebook without a .edu email address? Limited and invite only WORKS.

What may not work? While Google technically has nearly 1 billion (yes, with a B) users and Facebook is finally approaching 750 million, it doesn't appear Google is growing even remotely as fast. Chrome users has nearly tripled in the last year. These could bode well for this social layer that Google is attempting to add.

At this point, is there anyone else who COULD take on Facebook in this area?

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