If your aim is to own the world (and all the world’s advertising), then you don’t want a large chunk of your better-off subjects doing their socialising on Facebook, where you can’t so easily get at their data.
Obviously you’re supposed to use Orkut, so Google would have a record of your identity and your social network, as well as your search records, your email, your calendar, logs of your online chats and much of your surfing behaviour, your photos and your documents. But while Orkut has been successful in some places, such as Brazil, it failed in the US.
In the long run, Google seems to be planning to add a social layer on top of the entire suite of Google services, with Orkut as their initial main source of social graph information and, as I said above, possibly adding third party networks to the back end as well. Social networks would have little choice but to participate to get additional distribution and attention.
Google would then be able to target its advertising even more accurately, because it could tie its cookie and ad-based website tracking to your real identity.
No doubt Microsoft, Yahoo and others are wishfully thinking along the same lines. However, it could be a killer strategy for Google because it dominates the online advertising business. Thanks to AdSense, it can make far more money than anybody else, even if they have a much better product.
Conspiracy theory? Or is Google really the Future Borg? What do you think?