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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