Will Google's version give Facebook and Twitter a run for their money?
As rumored yesterday, Google launched a new social effort today called Google Buzz. If you're immediate reaction is, "Wait, doesn't Yahoo! already have a product named Buzz?" Then you'd be correct. But Google didn't acquire Yahoo! Buzz. Nor has Yahoo! Buzz gone defunct and Google felt ok about picking it up as a name.
The two products are alike in name and the fact that they're social. But that's about it.
Google Buzz lets you be social from Gmail. You can update your status there and share photos. (Yahoo! Buzz is more akin to social bookmarking and trending topics.)
Who do you share Google Buzz with? Gmail contacts, for one, but you can also send your updates to Twitter as well. Your Gmail contacts can respond to your updates, using the @ symbol much like Twitter and now Facebook use. Your Gmail inbox will be used to push notifications to Buzz users.
Buzz is rolling out, so it may take a few days before you get access. In the meantime, check out this vid to see how it works:
In the meantime, much discussion will (and already is) taking place on whether Google can overtake social networks such as Facebook and Twitter with their Buzz. Personally, since I have so many contacts that use non-Gmail email addresses, I don't see how Google could dominate social in this manner.
There's also the question of whether dominating another area of the Internet would be in Google's best interests since they're already under so much antitrust scrutiny.
But in the end, it's the users that determine the popularity of a network. I'm just one user, but I'll be watching to see how - or if - Buzz takes off.
What do you think? Create your own buzz in the comments below.