Much of the talk from today’s South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW or #SXSW if you’re as obsessed with Twitter as I am) has involved the possibility of a demonstration – or even release – of Google Circles, the search giant’s new social network. Although rumours abound even now, a Google rep stated that the service will categorically not be launching today, but no mention was made as to whether or not it exists.

It all began earlier today when Marshall Kirkpatrick from ReadWriteWeb heard the news and Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media fame followed it up with a Tweet saying that he’d ‘Seen Google Circles and it looks awesome. Tip of the iceberg too’. As is the way of expos of this size (especially now everyone’s got smartphones with Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz and just about every other social network or blogging app known to man on them), word spread throughout SXSW and the tech world with ‘confirmation’ that Google’s Facebook killer was upon us and would be in the wild before the end of the day.

The ReadWriteWeb article which you can find here gives a thorough rundown of the features that Google Circles is expected to have and although this is mostly heresay since there is no official confirmation that it even exists, it certainly sounds like the new network would have the potential to be a competitor for the more established platforms. As I say, there is no official word from Google that Circles is even being worked on, but it would certainly add credence to my suspicion that the Facebook-like ‘Profiles’ which I discussed the other day was the lead-in to something bigger.

I’ll certainly be keeping an interested eye on this one. What about you? Is this the new Facebook or is it just another case of expo rumours going too far? Let me know.