Google woke up to the Facebook and the Twitter challenge. Finally.
Google Buzz is the latest product from the Google family and its best attempt to build a social network after the early attempts like Orkut and Open Social saw marginal success.
To me Google Buzz looks like FriendFeed 2.0 (Facebook acquired FriendFeed last year) with its stream of updates, pictures, links from one’s friends. The biggest advantage that Google has in launching Buzz is that this is built into the Gmail application which already has over 175 million users. And Buzz is available on the iPhone and the Android as well.
Google is giving a lot of granular controls but the default social graph is based on the Gmail settings (mail recipients and senders of mail). Whether they indeed are actually the desired social graph for someone is something that I am not sure. For me, it surely is not!
Will Google win against Twitter with the Buzz? Twitter is simple and the tweets go to all the people who follow the tweet sender. “Buzzing” is not. There is a public and private buzz and this could make it complicated.
At first glance Google Buzz has a few advantages: It combines the best from Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook Connect, Flickr and a few others. It has nice email integration as they show up in the Inbox and as a tab within Gmail. It highlights items that friends like and share. You can read about the functionality here
The key challenge is how will Google square off against Facebook when Facebook introduces email. And whether Google Buzz will integrate with Facebook connect.
That will be interesting to watch!