Google might be about to mine the sharing economy

There is speculation among Google watchers the search engine giant is working on a new service called Google Mine.

According to long-time Google observer Alex Chitu, Mine would be a foray into the “sharing economy” for Google.

Chitu writes on his blog, Google Operating System, that the service would be “integrated with Google+ and it’s a way to keep track of the items you own or you’d like to have and share some of them with your circles.”

While details remain sketchy, Chitu says Google is testing the service in-house.

The purpose of Google Mine would be to let users organise the things they own, use, or want, whether it is gadgets, clothing, electronics, DVDs, cars, bikes or anything else.

According to the rumours, Google Mine would allow users to:

  • Catalogue belongings
  • Review belongings for your friends to see
  • Control who sees what, track conversations
  • Send requests to borrow or try out friends’ stuff
  • Get recommendations
  • Share things you are giving away
  • Follow, browse and search for things that friends share

The service would be another step in the direction of an “internet of things“, the virtual representation of real-life objects in an internet environment.

However, some writers and analysts have raised concerns about the potential privacy issues Mine might create for users.

When asked to confirm the speculation about the possible new service, Google told InformationWeek: “We are always experimenting with new features to help improve people’s online experience, but have nothing specific to share at this time.”


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