Kraus believes every killer app on the web — instant messaging, e-mail, blogging, photo-sharing — has succeeded because it helps people connect with one another. For Kraus, this means the Internet has an inherently social character, but it can be enhanced further — an area he continues to explore through Google initiatives such as Open Social and Friend Connect.
“Today, people think of social as social networks – a set of sites that I go to where I establish relationships with friends. And it’s in the context of those sites that I do stuff with them.
Our view at Google is that’s a transitory phase in the development of the whole social web, and that those friend relationships that you create on these sites should be usable and portable and allow you to get benefit no matter where you go on the web. […]
So, the idea is, how do you take these relationships that you’ve built in these pilot sites and make them useful across the web. And I think, the transition that we’re going through of social being something that you do in sites to something that you do across the web is very similar (or feels similar at least to me) to the way we looked at user generated content maybe six or seven years ago.”
(via Smart Mobs)