So far, Google’s attempts at social media have been something of a failure. Google Buzz annoyed many people and was seen as a breach of privacy. Latitude had the same problem. When it comes down to it, Google are a search company and not a social media company. However their focus on local search as led to an interesting new product. Hotpot shows recommendations on Google maps. Now they have added a function to see your friends local recommendations. This could be a good idea. We often value our friends recommendations so why not include them in their maps? It’s not a fully fleged social network a la Facebook, but nonetheless this could be their way in. It will be available in the web and Android versions of their maps. More info here.