socialnetworks.jpgSan Diego – Google has recently filed a trademark for a new service called “Photovine” but nobody is completely sure what it is.  Click here to see the Photovine Trademark Application.  The domain name is registered under an unnamed owner.

What we do know about “Photovine” is that it is non-downloadable software like a cloud service, and will be used for the “transmission of visual images and data by telecommunication networks, wireless communication networks, the Internet, information services networks and data networks.”  It appears that this will be another image-sharing service and interestingly, it has been trademarked in the category for “on-line social networking services.”

Regarding the domain, there has been no confirmation that Google is the registered owner.  Initially, the domain was registered to a Matthew Gibson, but it has since changed owners.  The new domain registrant is MarkMonitor, a company that registers on behalf of other companies who want to retain their anonymity. 

What makes this new service even more puzzling is that Google already owns and operates Picasa, an image organizer and image viewer for organizing and editing digital photos and includes a photo-sharing website.  It is possible that Photovine will be a new sub-service to Picasa to allow for easier image sharing on smartphones and social networks.  Since the trademark descriptions listed above strongly hint at an image-based cloud service, it seems that a new service so similar to Picasa would be redundant.  For that reason the new service may be more social networking based.

Although Google has us somewhat in the dark on this one, it is clear that it wants a larger part of the social networking pie.