Is Google taking a victory lap? In the wake of its many triumphs at the Cannes Lions advertising festival, the Mountain View, Calif. company has quietly launched a site called “What Do You Love?” that lets users experience a wide breadth of Google products at once.
The site, WDYL.com, asks visitors to enter the name of something they love into a simple search field. The results include relevant images, videos, trends, books, blogs and more, all presented by individual Google products.
For example, enter “coffee” into WDYL.com and the site presents the word translated into 57 different languages (caffé, kaffee), courtesy of Google Translate; Google Maps offers a map of nearby coffee places; Google Patent Search calls up a 1935 patent for a crude coffee maker; and Picasa presents pictures of – wait for it – coffee.
Just as notable is what does not appear: There are no ads on the site, despite what is surely millions of coffee-related ads just waiting inside Google AdWords. (Searches for other terms brought up no ads, either.)
Google issued no release or blog post about What Do You Love, and Andy Berndt, head of Google Creative Lab, did not reply to an e-mail seeking comment.
What Google did make an announcement about today is Google +, its latest bid for social networking relevance. The new service is a network that bears some resemblance to Facebook – streaming feeds, friend groups, instant mobile uploads – as well as live video chatting and the option to add your location to every post.
One video introducing the new service focuses on its Circles offering, which allows users to group friends based on relationship. Google seems to be going after Facebook users who are weary of news feeds dominated by “friends” they barely know.
“Every now and then I’ll make a new friend and I’ll think, you know, do I really have what it takes to take you on board as a new friend? Is this going to be worth it?” says an unseen narrator. “And you know, you’ve got to take a chance on people, because they’re taking a chance on you.” The video shows a Google + user adding a new friend and deciding which “Circles” group to place him in.
Google has taken a crack at social before with Wave and Buzz, both of which seemed to attract more controversy than users. Anticipation for Google + began in March, when the company added its “+1” button to its search offering, essentially acting as a Facebook Like button for search.
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