News in the world of internet marketing is filled with talk about Google’s latest venture: Google Buzz. Although I’ve heard a few negative remarks about how Google is trying to have their hand in every internet venue imaginable, word on the street is generally a tone that is interested in this development. I’m not surprised at that combination, since we all love to have the things we want to do on our computers and on the internet packaged up nice and neat, but then we tend to complain when one company provides it. Finding a happy medium in that situation is a bit of a quandary.
After reading about the features promised in Buzz, I am eager to try it out and see what I think of the experience it provides. Let’s take a quick look at some of the features of Buzz:
– Runs through Gmail
– Permits users to post status updates, photos, and links to their network
– Allows users to pull in activity from other sites, including Twitter, Flickr and Picasa
– Will have a mobile component, which can combine with wireless operating systems to include features like voice-recognition postings and a GPS-enabled ability to attach the user’s location to posts
– Enables real time comments, weighting the comments by other users similarly to Google’s search engine results in order to sort through them in a similar fashion to your Google search
– Automatically sets the people you email or chat with frequently as your friends
Despite how Buzz seems to be trying to replace some social networking sites, like Facebook and LinkedIn, while integrating other sites, like Twitter, into the usability of their latest brainchild, Google claims that they aren’t trying to edge in on anyone else’s territory and are just trying “to listen to their users”, according to Gmail product managed Todd Jackson. However, there is talk of Buzz being marketed to companies as an interoffice communication tool, which is definitely a competitive move against AOL Instant Messenger service.
Only time will tell if Buzz will be a success and to what degree. The success may hinge not on what Buzz can do at this moment, but on the potential expansions – from updating your status by phone to enabling Twitter updates through your Buzz account to linking Buzz to other emerging Google tools – and the reception Google receives in the social media arena. And the good news is that Google knows they have their work cut out for them. Spokesman Bradley Horowitz said, “We’re not launching this today because we think we’re done. We don’t think that’s how a product like this is built.”
It’s going to be interesting to watch the progress of this tool and see what kind of audience it ends up getting.