Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Social networking giant could soon face another giant in a different realm as a rival – search engine kingpin

According to a report in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is talking with several social game developers to provide content for a new social networking service that it has in development.

The Journal cited “people familiar with the matter” as its sources.

Google reportedly has talked with Playdom, which operates a studio in Chapel Hill, N.C. and on Tuesday was , as well as Electronic Arts’ Playfish as well as Zynga Game Network. Google recently invested in Zynga, the Journal noted.

“Google’s push into social games represents the latest attempt by the Web-search leader to capture users and advertising dollars that are increasingly flowing to social networking, an area dominated by Facebook, Twitter Inc. and others,” the Journal said.

Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt would not confirm the development of a social networking service, the Journal said. However, it also quoted him as saying that “the world doesn’t need a copy of the same thing” when asked if a Google service could resemble Facebook.

For the full report,

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