Thursday, March 04, 2010

Buzz Around Google Buzz

Google, following the footsteps of social media giants Facebook and Twitter, introduced its new social media feature, Google Buzz on Feb 9, 2010. It is a fully open and distributed platform for conversations. Much like Twitter and Facebook, Google Buzz allows space for the expression of thought. Twitter, however, places a limit on length, allowing a mere 140 characters at most. And while Facebook is wildly popular among all ages groups, its interface is confusing to many new users. It is a fully open and distributed platform for conversations.

Google Buzz has opened a new door in the realm of public relations possibilities. The most preferred advantage of Google Buzz is its ease of access. Moreover, automatically connecting it to the users gmail contacts is the incomparable way to connect the users to their friends. This eliminates the lack-of-network issue that users encounter when they first sign on to a social networking site.

Google has taken social media a step further and created the perfect blend of the two. Buzz is not a Facebook killer as, the latter offers a complete integrated platform to share updates, pictures, videos, games, maps, etc. with a network built on family and friends.

There are speculations that Buzz will not pose a threat for Twitter too. Twitter is a non-symmetric network used to access and broadcast information, to establish new connections, to chat, and to freely blab about anything. Twitter users listen and tweet to an audience that has a very small overlap, if any, with their Gmail address books. Similarly, this audience is mostly disjoint from their Facebook friends. Thus unless one can convince family members, friends, acquaintances, and professional connections to all move to Gmail, Twitter users will keep using Twitter for its very purpose. That is not even considering how users consume tweets. Buzz has nothing like it, at least for now. And Twitter’s lightweight and open API has created one of the richest and most innovative ecosystem in social networks –the best is still to come.

In an interview with eWeek, Google’s Brad Horowitz stated, that Google’s vision was a place where all social services could come together, a place where people would discuss events, trends and engage in real conversation. “It’s not just status-casting. It’s not just checking in. It’s really meaningful interactions around meaningful topics within Buzz and it’s reaching the right audience and people are engaged. That kind of value proposition is I think unique to Buzz,” Horowitz added.

Buzz will fall somewhere in between Facebook and Twitter as it appeals to Gmail users who are unfamiliar to Twitter and find Facebook way too confusing. That is, of course, if Facebook’s future email service does not pick up any momentum, and if Twitter does not bring innovations to its platform. Then you can guess what will be left of Gmail’s Buzz.