You will by now have noticed there’s quite a bit of activity and discussion around Google’s announcement of Google Buzz, their latest attempt at being competitive in the Social Media scene. If you haven’t heard or read anything about Google Buzz, here is by far the quickest and easiest method of resolving that: Google’s official launch video on YouTube.
There’s a lot to take in from the various bits of information floating about on the internet, but what we’re really interested in is whether or not there is anything NEW that the other social networking platforms have not done yet. Well, yes and no. Basically Google Buzz simply does what the other social networks already did. Just a little quicker and, at least in my opinion, presented in a slicker interface. That’s not guaranteed to bring success though; people don’t swap their favourite network without there being a pretty convincing reason to do so. In fact the number of social networks is slowly starting to become a bit overwhelming. How much place in the market is there? Like the Search Engines, I believe over time when the dust settles there’s only really room for a select number of social networks with the rest slowly losing the interest of their users.
So what is Google’s killer weapon?
I strongly believe the strength of Google Buzz will be the integration of mobile. Google.com is by far the most popular home page of Mobile devices and it’s already known that Buzz can be used both from both the iPhone and Android. If you allow Buzz to do so, it can find your location using Google Maps and tie this in with your updates. This in turn allows people to make searches based on location. Further, you can update Buzz while you are walking as voice recognition allows you to make updates purely by using your voice. That’s pretty nifty stuff that will definitely get people interesting enough to at least take a look.
Since Buzz updates will be indexed by Google and used in their Social Search results, you can expect Google will quickly use this information to improve their advertisement options. Just imagine the sort of information Google will collect on their users simply through usage of Buzz. And then imagine what you as search marketer can do with this sort of information in terms of targeting specific demographics in advertisement.
Buzz? Kind of sounds familiar...
It’s a little odd that Google has opted to use Buzz as name for their service, given that Yahoo already has a service called Buzz.
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Allegedly there was no trademark on Buzz, so Google was (legally at least) in their right to do so. It will undoubtedly spark up the ‘Google is Evil‘ debate again, but at the same time it’s giving them additional publicity. Smart move? Time will tell.
So is Google Buzz the next big thing?
Given that 176 Million people have a Gmail account and Google Buzz is accessible right there, Google start off with a huge advantage over the likes of Twitter and Facebook. They had to build up a name for themselves and relied on word of mouth to even be known to the general public. Google is already there and is further riding on their success to get the word across. In fact, I bet good money that Google Buzz will be a very hot topic on Facebook and Twitter right about now.
Either way, the question is easiest answered by another question: Are you planning to try it out? I’d love to hear your views.