Google is reportedly developing a new social networking project, codenamed “Emerald City” (or “Emerald Sea”), which claims it could tie together existing Google services in a more social way. It was initial scheduled to be available by this year, but it looks like the project could be delayed till next year.

Google is facing a huge challenge in the social networking scene, which is dominated by Facebook and other social network sites. According to news reports, the search engine giant is developing their new social network product codenamed “Emerald City” (or “Emerald Sea”). Interestingly, Emerald City is the fictional capital city of the Land of Oz in L. Frank Baum’s Oz books, first described in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Last year, Google launched the Google Wave web app for real time communication and collaboration, but unfortunately, it did not manage to gain users’ interest and the project was suspended. There’s no word to the Google Me service which Google calls “a social layer” that is incorporated into the online search, video and Google Maps.

Regardless, whether it is Google Me or “Emerald City” (or Emerald Sea), this is Google’s attempt to counter Facebook in the social network space. It is also believed that Google is deploying their own social networks on the Android mobile phones.