As of the time of this writing, many Gmail fans have received quite the surprise when logging into their accounts. Their normal home page is replaced by an offer from Google to join Google Buzz–basically, a Twitter/Facebook clone with some of that old fashioned Google ingenuity mixed in. While it may seem quite late in the game to launch a social networking website (and there have already been some serious privacy concerns), Google knows what they’re doing, and they could certainly make a dent in the lucrative market with the right approach.
Here’s a look at why Google Buzz could turn out to be a revolutionary social tool.
It’s starting with a user base. Granted, not all of those users are willing to be part of that user base, but by signing everyone in Gmail up for a free Buzz account, Google’s starting with a significant advantage. They allow users to hide or delete their Buzz profiles, which has stifled some of the criticism of the service. Google’s left with a pretty big head start for its foray into the social networking world, as Gmail has a pretty huge number of users–though nowhere near the number of users of say, Facebook.
It’s integrated with other Google products. The biggest advantage of Buzz, for me, is that integration. Users don’t have to leave their Gmail screens to update their status, put up pictures, etc. Picasa, Google’s online picture organization tool, can be effortlessly brought into a user’s Google Buzz account. And everything is simple and easy.
That simplicity is very important. A big part of Myspace’s downfall seemed to be its heavy, overbearing page design filled with ads, which made it a pain to even log in–with Google, the simple Buzz home page is available with a click from your existing Gmail page. That’s a pretty big advantage, and users of Buzz will undoubtedly begin clicking over once or twice a day rather than loading a new browser window to go to Facebook or other competitors.
Google can market. The company’s massive for a reason. When they’ve got a good product, they know how to get it out there and working for them. Buzz is gaining a lot of, well, buzz, simply from being a Google product, and as Google controls a big portion of what we look at on the Internet, including search results and more. They can direct people to Buzz almost effortlessly, and Buzz might soon take the place of Facebook, LinkedIn, and other options as a one-for-all social networking page.
Time will tell whether Buzz is successful, but Google’s certainly got their ducks in a row on this one. They’ve got the tools to make it work, and it’s hard to think of anything that could stop them.
What do you think of Google Buzz? Post in our comments section below.