Google launched is own foray into social media with Google Buzz. Many people consider this as an attempt to mimic Yahoo Buzz. Actually, it is much more than that. Google Buzz incorporates elements of Twitter, Digg, and Facebook.
Here are some of the features of Google Buzz: (I’ll explain what they mean to social media)
1) Automatic integration of your email and chat contacts. Google Buzz works from Gmail. This means that once Google completes the process of rolling out Buzz to every Gmail account, it will 146 million users. Compare this to Linkedin’s 50 million and Twitter’s 6 million. So day 1 Google will be king of social media. Google Buzz works via gmail so users will have to log in to Gmail more often and will be a great increase to Google’s email ad revenue. For users the integration with Gmail means a seamless method of responding to messages and greater capabilities to be more social.
2) You can decide whether you want your ideas to be private (secret diary style) or public. This is a feature that Twitter provides as well. Where users can decide to have their messages seen by everyone. The question is how comfort most people will feel with exposing their conversations to the world. Most of the web is still slow about adopting social media. This will be a big learning curve for many people.
3) Comments will be sent right to your inbox so you can have instant access to them. Those that are familiar with Twitter know that if you are following lots of people the number of messages you can receive can be in the thousands per day. I have over 12 thousands followers and get over 25 messages per day via Twitter. If they all appeared in my Inbox it would be a real mess.
4) You can now see thumbnails for photos or just browse full-screen images that are available from popular photo websites. The ability to add photos and videos is nothing new. Buzz will make it easier. I find this feature similar to what you get via PowerTwitter.
5) You can import your stuff from Google Reader, Flickr, Picasa and Twitter so you won’t have to personalize everything again. This is important for what Google doesn’t say more than what it does say. There is no mention of connecting with Facebook. It implies that Google Buzz will be in direct competition with Facebook. This possibly why many of the features of Google Buzz are similar to those offered by Facebook.
6) Updates will be in real-time. Anyone who uses social media is already familiar with real time updates. The important thing Google as a search engine didn’t index in real time. Generally, Google’s index is several days old. If Google can make the leap to offer real time updates it could save them from becoming obsolete as more and more people seek content that is real time fresh.
7) In true 21st century style, Buzz will adapt to you, funneling in interesting content and denying the content that will be most likely unappealing to you. This feature if I understand it correctly is a little creepy. What it means is that Google will interpret your interests by who you are following and the comments you make. Based on your interests it will recommend other comments from people you might not be following. To me it seems a bit big brother like.
This is just day 1 of Google Buzz we’ll know the effect of the whole thing in a few days.
Any questions or comments about Google Buzz, please feel free to contact me at 905-417-9470 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org