Is Google Buzz The Twitter Terminator?

There is a lot of Buzz about Google Buzz with over 9 million post and comments. It was only launched on Tuesday the 9th of  February, meaning that it is getting over (according to Mashable) 160,000 comments and hits per hour!

So eager to try Google Buzz, I kept checking my Gmail account  and was continually frustrated not seeing the “Buzz Icon” appear in my Gmail account after all that noise and comment.

Finally I found this little snippet on Googles Official Enterprise Blog, after many Google searches….which included results displaying statements from Google employees on Google’s official blog saying it will appear…. as it being rolled out progressively.

“Tuesday, February 09, 2010 at 11:00 AM:  Today the Gmail team introduced Google Buzz, a new feature that lets individuals share links, photos, and other updates with their network of contacts – or with the whole world – right within Gmail. Google Buzz helps people kick off conversations around information that people find mutually interesting. Within a few months, we also plan to make Google Buzz available to businesses and schools using Google Apps, with added features for sharing within your organization. Stay tuned, and for more information about using Google Buzz with your personal Gmail account, head over to the Gmail blog or visit buzz.google.com

As I use Google Mail using my own domain name I haven’t been able to start playing with Buzz. Consequently in the meantime I have gone in and created a personal Gmail account to be able to get some quality Buzz time. So there you have it, Google is only for personal accounts for the present.

So what is Buzz?

Google Buzz is a tool much like Twitter that allows you to share links, pictures and videos with all your Gmail contacts. Positioned inside your Gmail account (if you have it, it will be listed among ‘inbox,’ ‘outbox,’ ‘sent mail,’ etc.), Buzz is essentially Google’s attempt to take on Twitter and to a smaller extent, Facebook. It automatically sets you up to follow only the people you email and chat to frequently, but it also gives you the option to post your updates on private or public.

There’s also the ability to connect to other sites you use, like Picasa, Flickr, Twitter and your RSS feed.

But the Billion dollar question is will Google Buzz terminate Twitter. Here are some of the observations of the top players in Social Media

1. Joel Comm doesn’t think so and his take is:

“You aren’t limited to the 140 characters we are used to with Twitter. And you can have Buzz automatically post your Twitter updates to Buzz… but not the other way around. You can also connect your Picasa, Blogger and other Google-related accounts to Buzz.There is, however, one glaring ommission. There is no Facebook integration. As for Twitter’s 18 million users, will they be wooed by Google’s latest foray? I don’t think so. But my crystal ball isn’t working that great these days, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”

2.Robert Scoble on Google Buzz from his Scobleizer Blog

“Google has a big company disease that Twitter never had. Watch Google tomorrow to integrate tons of services together in a way that looks like FriendFeed or Facebook. Of course YouTube videos, Google Maps, Picasa, and other things will be linked together in an aggregated feed. Now compare to Twitter. Twitter doesn’t have these “strategy taxes.” For all its sins (and Twitter has many sins) it has stayed pure and hasn’t strayed from 140-characters of text only”

3. Business Insider’s comments on its Silicon Alley Insider post said:

“Google could launch a Twitter-killer as soon as this week, the Wall Street Journal reports……..If Google is smart, these status updates will pour into and out of Facebook and Twitter. That way it will have an immediate install base of users already trained to update everyone they know about the latest thing they viewed, thought or ate. Otherwise, it’s hard to see how this feature won’t end up as another in a long line of Google products that tried, and failed, to beat popular services from Web rivals (See Orkut versus MySpace, Google Video versus YouTube, Open Social versus Facebook Platform, Google Friend Connect versus Facebook Connect).”

My current take on this is that you cannot underestimate the depth of Google’s pockets, its marketing talents and the length of its incredible technical Phd gene pool that resides in the Labs. Just don’t leave town because I think it is “game on”.

What do you think, is Twitter going down?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Today the Gmail team introduced Google Buzz, a new feature that lets individuals share links, photos, and other updates with their network of contacts – or with the whole world – right within Gmail. Google Buzz helps people kick off conversations around information that people find mutually interesting.

Within a few months, we also plan to make Google Buzz available to businesses and schools using Google Apps, with added features for sharing within your organization. Stay tuned, and for more information about using Google Buzz with your personal Gmail account, head over to the Gmail blog or visit buzz.google.com

Comments

  • http://www.wordsellinc.com Brad Shorr

    Given Google’s ability to develop platforms and the initial surge of interest, Buzz has great promise. If Google had an interface as strong as HootSuite, I’d be tempted to shift away from Twitter. I’m not sure how effective Buzz is or is intended to be for non Gmail users, Flickr devotees, and others outside the Google universe.

  • gfsnell3

    It is too early to predict if Google Buzz will kill Twitter. It’s not the most innovative product from Google – although building into Gmail with its more than 176 million users is a smart way to instantly build a social network. Besides, Twitter is having its own problems with monetizing and a rickety platform that seems to have daily performance problems.

    So far I have mixed reviews about Buzz. I like some of the features and its ease of use, but I feel like my inbox has been invaded by strangers. Like you Jeff, I’m playing with it. If I find it more irritating than beneficial, I’ll turn it off.

    My full take on Buzz:

    http://hightalk.net/2010/02/11/that-buzzing-sound-in-your-inbox/

  • http://www.smallbusinessmarketingtoolkits.com Shannon Evans

    As Google as not faired too well with other social platforms I am not sure they will be able to deliver on all their promises with this one as well. Orkut, Wave, and OpenSocial did not make a huge splash with the fickle end user. While it has great promise, does it have enterprise potential? It will also be interesting to see if they integrate elements of the newly acquired (rumored) Aardvark in Buzz. Will this sway all to open a Gmail account so they can Buzz?
    That remains to be seen…but until then I will be watching hopefully.

  • Ian Bissell

    Google may had deep pockets but it lacks business focus and a real flare for consumers. And do we really want to put all our eggs in one basket? There’s no doubt that Google is innovative and encourages its talented techies ‘to play’. But how many of its launches really stick? I think it should pick one, maybe two, new markets to enter and then do it really well, leveraging its advantage. It has a ‘spray’ mentality. Let’s just try them all and see which one works.

  • http://bitmapsystems.com Aaron Friedman

    Initial reactions… Google Buzz looks to be a Twitter/Facebook hybrid that does not allow you to post to Twitter, nor does it allow you to both post and pull status updates from Facebook. Without full integration into both Twitter and Facebook, Google Buzz is just extra baggage that I would rather not carry (at least for now).

    On the upside… The updating of Google’s mapping software, with geo layer for Buzz is pretty sweet. On the downside… I can see this quickly turning into a stalking situation for those not savvy enough to work the privacy features.

    It will be interesting to watch how Google evolves this product in future releases. With Facebook and Google both competing for that real-time search of social content… I feel as if the gloves have officially come off! Personally, I would like to see Google stick to the Enterprise space on this one… and with an enterprise release on the way I feel the now obsolete Google Wave may attempt another round to win an audience.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Buzz is definitely more of an aggregator than a social network unto itself. I think Scoble has it right mostly because he was so (and might still be so, not sure) entrenched in FriendFeed that he immediately recognized what I did when I first saw Buzz, which is its just a slightly better designed FriendFeed, with the advantage of being dropped right into Gmail’s 170 million users.

    So Buzz integrates Twitter, making it a big part of the combined tools it pulls in, but won’t replace it unless Google changes the way it works. You can think of Buzz as a potential way to make sense of all the places you drop content. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Buzz Blog Commenting System pop up soon so all your comments are dropped into Buzz.

  • http://www.revolution-pr.co.uk Andrew Barber

    I have run a spider simulator over our own buzz and profile (http://www.google.com/profiles/revolutionprmail) and what is apparent is that Buzz does not seem to be using “no follow” tags in the HTML in the way that Twitter does – making all links on Buzz visible to the search engines. This includes those imported into Buzz from other networks – including Twitter and it also seems to strip out the “no follow” tags of any Twitter feed.

    This means that, from a SEO point of view, there are going to be a lot of links visible to Google’s spiders that were previously hidden.

    Does this mean that it will be open to abuse by spammers?

    I can’t believe there will not be an Google algorithm to deal with the problem of artificial content networks on Buzz, but if humans choose not to follow spammers – their impact will be limited.

    It is also difficult to see Google penalising users of its own network if their SERP is increased as a result of being part of a genuine network.

    I have blogged about this here: http://www.revolution-pr.co.uk/node/111

    Thoughts?

  • http://Partnerpedia.com Liam Lahey

    I don’t think Google Buzz will prove to be the “Twitter Terminator”.

    Buzz will appeal to some and not at all to others (I find myself in the latter group). What may prove to be Twitter’s demise however is the inclusion of unwelcome advertisements into Twitter streams (see today’s article in the New York Times).

    To quote social media whiz-kid and author Julien Smith, “We will never need more advertising. We will always need more connection and community.”

  • http://code.google.com Chris Chabot

    I dislike the premise of such posts, as it assumes that the web can only support a highlander type outcome “there can be only one!” (queue lightning bolts and wind generators).

    I think the web is big enough to support many social destinations, and in fact with Google Buzz we’ve made it our goal be just one node of many in a larger social web, so we’re using Salmon, OAuth, Activitistrea.ms and WebFinger to allow it to be connected to other social enabled sites, allow distribution of comments between platforms etc.

    So my hope is that Twitter (and other social platforms) will join us in supporting these open standards and we’ll end up with a social web made of loosely coupled small pieces

  • http://www.mysoog.com اعلانات مبوبه

    Buzz will appeal to some and not at all to others (I find myself in the latter group). What may prove to be Twitter’s demise however is the inclusion of unwelcome advertisements into Twitter streams (see today’s article in the New York Times).