Matthew Ingram carries the photo of a shark on his post about this development. Ingram points out that when Google entered the calendar market, competitor Kiko gave up and sold themselves. He asks whether or not this was the right decision -- pointing to Paul Graham's post at the time "Google Does Not Render Resistance Futile."
I find myself agreeing with Paul and Rex Hammock puts his finger on it when he writes:
There’s a social networking aspect of Rollyo that probably won’t be a part of the Google product, however the Google product will likely offer publishers, including bloggers, an instant way to monetize narrow search in the Adsense program they’re already participating in.For all of the things that Google has done right in technology, they have done very little well in the category of social. It isn't too late for them to learn but if history is any guide, they will miss the importance of the social network in search as well.
And frankly having a strong competitor forces you to do the two things which you most need to do in any case when you are a small business -- innovate constantly and be 500% better than your larger competition. Then Google can educate the market about why the market needs your product and then you can deliver on the market's expectations. That is what YouTube did.