It looks like Google is planning to launch a new web-based social service called ‘Photovine’, according to a recent trademark filing.
As spotted by Fusible, the filing (which can be searched for from here) was made on 7 June 2011 and six days later the domain name Photovine.com was acquired from its previous owner by brand protection firm Mark Monitor, possibly acting as an intermediary for Google.
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So, what is Photovine? While Google hasn’t officially announced any such product, the trademark application covers the fields of ‘Computer software’, ‘Communication services, namely, transmission of visual images and data by telecommunications networks, wireless communication networks, the Internet, information services networks and data networks‘, ‘Non-downloadable computer software‘ and, most interestingly, ‘On-line social networking services‘.
Google has long been rumoured to be working on new social services, with names like “Google Me” and “Circles” having floated around over the past year. Could Photovine be part of such efforts? Google already has its own image sharing service, Picasa, however the idea that it may be planning some kind of Instagram-style, mobile-focused service isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.
That’s just conjecture for now, but it seems likely we’ll be seeing something new from Google in the area of social photography soon.