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Samsung Galaxy fans to get Facebook rival social network

Samsung is planning a social network to rival Facebook, with Samsung phones, tablets, cameras and TVs sharing with your friends.

Samsung is planning a social network to rival Facebook. The Korean giant is hoping to scoop up everyone with a Samsung Galaxy S3 or other Galaxy phone in their pocket and get their phones, tablets, cameras and TVs sharing with your friends, Facebook-style.

The Korea Times reports the network will be based on the existing Samsung social wotsit Family Story, but the Korean company is even calling the new project 'Samsung Facebook' internally.

Samsung says its own-brand social features will work across its cameras, televisions and Blu-ray players and tanks. Well, maybe not the tanks.

With its Galaxy phones already in millions of pockets around the world, direct upload to social networks is already happening. Add Wi-Fi enabled cameras and Blu-ray players and TVs that tell the world what you've been watching, and Samsung could be on to something.

Still, social networking is a hard row to hoe. Even big names like Google aren't guaranteed success, with Google+ failing to take off despite lots of clever features.

In fact, I'd argue that a big name may even count against a social network, which needs to be fresh and cool and buzzy. Samsung, as great as it is at making hardware, is none of those things. After all, who uses any of the own-brand social or music gubbins on any phone? Even Apple couldn't pull it off, with the reportedly doomed Ping.

Meanwhile, fresh upstarts like Pinterest come from nowhere to capture an audience with loads of buzz.

And aside from the cool factor, own-brand social networks have a built-in limitation: they're restricted to the people with own-brand kit. Facebook and Twitter thrive today because from the very start they've been free on any device anywhere. Samsung seems to have learnt that lesson by making its free messaging service ChatON available on any device. Ultimately, that's the one question that makes or breaks a social network: are my mates on it?

Can Samsung compete with Facebook? Can anyone compete with Facebook? What's going to be the next big thing in social networking? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or, you guessed it, on our Facebook page.

Update: Samsung has denied that its upgrades to Family Story will develop the service into a Facebook rival -- which is just as well judging by reader reactions.