Google wants your Gmail inbox to be bubbling more than usual, introducing their latest attempt at social networking, Google Buzz. The new feature went live on Tuesday, and is being questioned by a lot of Google fans.
Buzz works as an add-on in your Gmail inbox, and lets you share videos, photos, status updates and links in real-time. So basically, it does what Twitter does, with a few additions that were worked into Twitter anyway, with twitpic (to share photos) and twitvid (for videos).
However, it does let you integrate your Twitter, Picasa, Youtube and Gmail accounts all into one space. “That seems to be the only real advantage”, said Mitch Wagner, a social networking analyst. “The other features are similar to too many services already on the market. Google Buzz looks like a ‘me-too’ product. I don’t think Google Buzz will get much buzz.”
Buzz doesn’t need any setup, and will work immediately in your Gmail account. Your updates will be followed automatically by the people you e-mail and chat with the most. The updates can be sent to a select few, or to all of your followers, and you can send updates directly to someone’s inbox so that they don’t miss it.
“The saving grace for Buzz might be just that – that it’s right there in your inbox, where you can’t ignore”, said
Harsh Karua, Executive Director, NetSocial. “But that is obviously limited to the people that do use Gmail as their main e-mail account.”
As per recent statistics, Gmail has 165 million users, while Facebook is way ahead with 400 million. Google Buzz does not integrate with Facebook, possibly due to obvious rivalry, which may result in Buzz being just another addition to Google’s list of failures in the social networking field, disasters including Orkut and the more recent, abstract Google Wave.
Is Buzz just a mandatory competition Google had to release to Facebook, or will it break Google’s social networking nightmares?