Sooner or later Google was going to make a much larger play for the social media market. With over 1 billion searches happening a month on Facebook alone, and social media overtaking search as the largest online category – Google was threatened. There were talks of a buy-out of Twitter and other discussions with networks in the past but nothing came to fruition so Google has gone it alone.
Will you get a Buzz out of Buzz?
With the recent exposure of Buzz you might be thinking what I was – Buzz sounds like Google Wave right? After some initial poking around my conclusion is that it is like Wave except for one differentiating factor – it’s integrated into your Gmail Account. This I believe has been a smart move by the search giant. If Google is ever to crack this market, they know the only way to do it is to leverage their existing Gmail user base, whom already have established contact lists.
However despite all of the hype, will it be a tool that revolutionises the industry? Let’s take a more in-depth look at what the tool offers;
It’s a bit like Twitter; Users on Buzz can post updates and decide whether to share them privately or with the world. As users are looking for more flexibility in social media to decide whom they will share content with, this might provide users with the control they are looking for.
It’s a bit (actually a lot) like Facebook; Users can share photos, videos & their status with their connections. There are some cool ways users can view photos and comment on content but it’s probably not going to convert the masses.
It’s a bit like Foursquare; Users can tag the location of their tweets and also view tweets on a map in surrounding areas. Unlike Foursquare where conversations occur about a particular location / thing to do, Buzz is more about general conversations occurring in particular locations and being tagged for user benefit.
It takes some elements from Friendfeed; Like FriendFeed Google Buzz allows users to aggregate content from Twitter, Picaso and a few other social applications. It is important however to note that users cannot feed in content from their Facebook profile.
The most under-developed market in the social world is geo-location social media and I believe Google could carve a good slice of this market. Outside of this, my view is the functionality is largely undifferentiated, and I don’t think it will be enough to draw users away from their existing applications. With Facebook now boasting over 400 million users, Google has their work cut out for them as their Gmail user base only has 176 million users. In my opinion this is one war Google wont win with Buzz and maybe Google’s last hurrah for social media. With its many failed attempts Google may have to sit on the social media sidelines and be content with integrating social into their search offering.
Want to know more about Buzz – view the official Google video here
Got an opinion on how Buzz will change the social landscape – would LOVE to hear it, please comment below.