The chatter these days is about the new Google social network about which something new will be announced later this Fall, but hardly anyone I've noticed is talking about the Google social network that already exists. Google has been building it for years, and Google introduces new features nearly every week. They just don't make a big fuss about it because it is so incremental.
Maybe there will be a big splash later this year with a new roll-out, but maybe the big splash will be that Google just tells folks what they have been working on and slowly introducing all along. It will seem like a big splash and a surprise. One of the tricks is that Gmail is still by invitation only, as far as I know. You can't just go and sign up for a Gmail account because you want one, and the main way to notice the many social features that are, as of right now, up and running is to have been using the Gmail service for a while, in connection with Google Buzz, Google account profile, Google Voice, Google Reader, and Feedburner, to name what seem to be the most important ones. Oh, I forgot that Google Blogger, along with other blog platforms can be integrated through the Google Buzz connections.
I read today that Facebook and Skype are negotiating an integration of services somehow.
Google is already doing telephony in a much bigger and broader way. Say Android. Do you know about Google Voice?
The best thing about the existing Google social network is the expansiveness of it. It's not at all like living in a box, as with some social networks I've encountered.
If Google really has a bunch of new features that are soon to hit the streets, I'm excited.