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Is Google Buzz – The Next Big Thing in Social Media ?

 

googlebuzz I’m still working out what I think about Google Buzz but can already see some stuff about it that I like and dislike.  Not being a user of Gmail I’m not the most objective reviewer. ( I do have an account for my Droid phone but only registered to be able use the phone)

I’ll give it a bit more time before I make too many judgments but in the mean time if you’re interested in connecting on it with me you can find my profile here.

Google announced yesterday that they are throwing their hat into the social media ring. Google indicated the new Google Buzz tab will begin showing up on about 1% of Gmail user accounts starting right away. Google says the rest of Gmail users will be able to see a new Google Buzz tab in their accounts within a week.

Downsides that I see:

1.    Google Buzz is only integrated into Gmail. Granted there are 150M+ Gmail users but there are still quite a few people who are not. ( although I have a Google  Gmail account I don’t use it )

2.    Google Buzz does not integrate into Facebook. I think this is going to be a HUGE factor in whether Google Buzz is successful or not. It should be interesting to see how this plays out and If Facebook will one day integrate into Google Buzz. As Facebook sneaks past 400M users – this is certainly not a number you can ignore.

Here’s a quick ‘cheat sheet’ of what Google Buzz is:

1. Integrates with Gmail. Below your Gmail  inbox, there will be a tab for Buzz, allowing you to read status updates, photos, and video. The 40 people you converse with the most in Gmail and Gchat are automatically added as friends. Buzz updates also appear in your inbox if someone comments on your updates or comments, or someone directs a Buzz to your attention by using the familiar “@” symbol

2. Integrates with Other Channels. Photos from Flickr and Picasa and video from YouTube appear as thumbnails in Google Buzz.  You can pull in tweets from Twitter but you can’t send your Buzz updates out to Twitter or other social networks.

3. “Page Rank” for Status Updates. To compensate for posts that many people don’t care about (like what you just ate for lunch) :) -  Google Buzz lets you like and dislike status updates, and learn over time whether to show or collapse status updates from your friends. It also looks for conversations outside your direct group of followers and adds them to your feed as recommendations.

4. Private and Public Updates. Private updates can go to all of your Buzz followers, or just a select group. Public updates are posted on your Google Profile page and are immediately indexed for Google Search.

5. Mobile App. Google Buzz has a mobile app ( I just installed on my Droid)  that  dictate status updates by voice and geotags your posts. On Google Mobile Maps, Buzz updates appear directly on the map, so you can read location-based updates. You can also look for any recent Buzz updates posted near your current location.

So what does this mean for users ?  I think at this point Google Buzz is too new make any predictions about it’s usage. I do think that if Google Buzz stays as is – it will be somewhat limiting to users due to the fact it is just available to Gmail users and that it does not integrate with Facebook.

However – as social media evolves, it is imperative that business owners  keep an eye on where people are gathering and where they are communicating. Today it is primarily Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Will Google Buzz be the next big thing? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Here’s a quick video Google put out yesterday that explains Google Buzz:


What are your thoughts? Would love to hear your comments – please post your feedback below

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5 Responses

  1. my gmail just added the buzz thing. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it

  2. Google buzz just seems like they are trying to jump on the recent success of twitter,it seems very similar, the advantage they have though s that people will be more likely to post the odd thing or two when they are checking their emails, they will likely get inspiration from emails they have just read etc so I think it will do extremely well, can’t say ill be all ver it though, im not even a big fan of twitter, dont really see the point to be honest

  3. I feel as if Google Buzz is just going to be a passing fad or the next big thing. I have a gmail account and I have not even heard of it but it could be I just have not taken the time to notice it. That being said, they obviously need to make people more aware of it!

    If it does not integrate with Facebook or Twitter they probably don’t have a chance unless they vamp it up with something that everyone “needs.” I guess at this point it can go either way!

    -Sara Qualls

  4. Google Buzz, these social sites remind me of clubs when a new one pops up it’s the next big thing, until the next new one. Only targeting Gmail accounts will limit it from becoming the next big thing in my opinion. Granted there’s many people with Gmail but I like the author only opened one so I could access my email via my I-Phone.
    The one feature that differs from what’s already out there is the ability to like and dislike statuses. I think that’s great, on Facebook there’s much more I’d rather dislike than like and always wondered why that wasn’t an option. The key to these social network sites is how many people use them, Myspace was the biggest thing for a while and compared to Facebook I actually preferred the layout and options, but once everyone goes to a different site, the purpose of keeping in touch with friends and seeing what their up too is defeated. There are so many social sites now that to become the “new” big thing in this area you really have to do something different to get peoples attention.
    Megan Geraldi

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