Google’s MakaMaka takes on Facebook

Technology gossip reports that Google plans to get a slice of the social networking market by adding a social networking element across all its services. The project is internally called MakaMaka – which depending on who you believe is Hawaiian for something to do with friendship, Hebrew for a big hit, or the Malawian word for “especially”, twice. Probably the last one, eh?

It’s likely to involve giving third-party developers the tools to make fun stuff for Google, starting with the iGoogle personalised homepage and orkut social network.

Orkut (the name of its Finnish inventor) has tens of millions of users – so why haven’t you heard of it? Maybe because only half a million of those are in the US, the market from which most stories of new fun things come. Orkut has solid followings in Brazil, India and the Middle East, which is more than can be said for Facebook.

Could Google have fluked a head start in some of the most populous countries in the world?

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