'According to Google Operating System, last year Google sponsored a social networking project, called Socialstream, at the Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute.
One of the project’s main goals was to investigate how social networking could be improved to bring more value to users. What came of this - and what I like about SocialStream - was a “unified social network (USN)”, which translates in simple English to an aggregation and consolidation of various social network data in a single place (see video below). As Mashable states, this is a more user-centric rather than network-centric approach to social networking.
From the project’s site, “Socialstream emphasizes improving social connections by making it more efficient to communicate with, share with, and view the social content of all the people in a user’s online social network. Socialstream provides a compelling user experience because it aggregates content across many different networks so a user has a single location to discover new content and communicate. The goal of Socialstream is to present social information in a way that ties it to the person who posted the information, and not the site from which it came.”
While time will tell if this will be launched as a separate or Orkut-integrated service, what is clear is that Socialstream presents a focus on benefit-orientated social networking mashups, which when coupled with Google’s large user bases and extensive application set could become very popular.'