Google Buzz Must Connect to Facebook, Twitter to Thrive
With its new Google Buzz service, Google believes that if it can mimic some of the sharing functionality that makes social networks so successful, it will keep its Gmail users from going to Facebook and Twitter. In a best-case scenario, Gmail would gain millions of new users via Buzz, with Google pairing relevant ads with the service. Analysts say Google Buzz isn't going to take much market share from Facebook and Twitter, the social sharing services with which it is geared to compete, unless it connects with them.Social media experts aren't sold that Google Buzz is going to take much market share from Facebook and Twitter unless it adequately connects with the social sharing services with which it is geared to compete. Google Buzz lets users post status updates and share Picasa photos, YouTube videos, Twitter tweets and other content-comparable to the functionality of Facebook and Twitter-right in Gmail.
Google's idea is to keep its large Gmail base of 176 million users from going to Facebook or Twitter to share content.
"While Google certainly will want Buzz content to be part of their real-time search results, it's hard for me to imagine they'd adjust their search engine results solely to promote their new social features. Google needs to serve up the best real-time data possible as part of their search offering, and with Twitter pouring out over a billion pieces of content each month, my expectation is that Twitter will continue to be part of Google's core search offering into the foreseeable future."While Twitter may feel the heat, few people are ready to claim Buzz poses a serious threat to Facebook, whose rapid growth in the six years since its birth is unprecedented among social network sites. But Owyang acknowledged on his Web Strategist blog:
"To Facebook, this is a direct threat, these features emulate Friendfeed and the recently designed Facebook newsfeed. Expect Google to incorporate Facebook Connect, commoditizing Facebook data as it gets sucked into Google and displayed on Google SERP [search engine results page]."However, don't expect Facebook to sit there and take the assault. The company has just improved its search service and homepage design and offers several features to keep users comfortably within its walled garden, including connecting Facebook Chat with third-party instant messaging clients through Jabber. Facebook has more than enough firepower to withstand Google Buzz.