You might have heard about Orkut, which is a social network owned and operated by Google since 2004. If you haven't heard of it so far it might be because its main users are in Brazil - 48.0%, followed by India - 39.2% and United States with 2.2%.
As of February 2011, Alexa traffic ranked Orkut 102nd in the world, so that the website currently has more than 100 million active users worldwide. So how is Google competing with Facebook on social networking ground? Here's a useful example spotted today while checking on "gifts" keyword on google.co.in (india), where Orkut is still having a fair slice of market share:
Also, it's quite interesting to see that Google doesn't bid on its own Brand term (Orkut), choosing to target high visibility generics (such as "gifts" on St. Valentine's Day, etc).
Does Google need to use its own Adwords platform as to promote its social networking services? Apparently yes since social networking continues to be a highly competitive area, especially when considering geographical targeting.