Depending on your Twitter Follow list, you may have already seen the buzz over changes to Google Profiles recently. Whilst the product has been around for a while (in relative obscurity), two recent announcements have fixed the spotlight firmly upon it.
First off was a relatively low key announcement a few weeks ago, revealing that you could personalize your Google Profile URL to include your name (nicely termed a vanity URL). Then followed an announcement that Profiles are to start appearing in the Google search listings.
Cue a whole bunch of savvy people flocking to Google to ensure they could secure their ideal vanity url before someone sharing their name (or a cybersquatter) grabbed it. The news from Danny Sullivan that Google Profiles pass PageRank might just have contributed to the rush.
Since then there has been a lot of speculation regarding Google’s intent with its Profiles. A popular theory is that it is the start of a manoeuvre to take on the social network giants, Facebook and LinkedIn. There are many arguments for and against such theories, but it would certainly be quite a feat to unseat either colossus when you consider their size and integration into their users’ lives.
So what else could Google Profiles become?