Google is creating its own version of social networking to play in the same field as Twitter and Facebook. It is called Google Buzz. It also introduced a new collaboration tool known as Google Wave. But is Google Buzz a solid substitute for Twitter and Facebook? Will Google be able to reach the number one slot in the social networking world? Many experts don’t think that Google can surpass the other two popular social media sites any time soon if at all. However, the latter are not perfect and have some issues too. Let’s look at some of the dynamics with Google social networking in the midst of Twitter and Facebook.
You can possibly create a larger circle of followers more quickly on Buzz. With Google Buzz, contacts are added from those in your Gmail list and it also detects who you converse with the most. The other two networks can also add contacts through the mail but cannot determine your frequency of communication with those persons.
Some may have some trust problem with Google. Although Google has an impressive history and is the largest in the search engine arena, it has had some controversy in the recent past. One famous controversy was when Google announced its policy on retaining search data entered by users. This sparked complaints from the user community with regard to personal privacy. However, Google Buzz has added a feature where you can easily change your privacy settings from its interface.
It is human nature for people to want to see the big players share a little. We tend to cheer for new players or underdogs in any arena. Google has been on the top and become so large and powerful that some want to see change. Plus, some feel Google to be somewhat impersonal because they are so large and search engines are impersonal by definition.
Twitter harnesses the popularity of Facebook with Facebook Connect. Buzz is not integrated with Facebook however it is with the other popular social media sites. This is more than likely because of the strong competition between Facebook and Buzz. Many experts predict that this absence of integration will be the hurdle that keeps Buzz from overtaking Facebook in popularity.
Twitter is possibly a little too simple in its scope when compared to Buzz. With Twitter, you want to answer the question, “What am I doing?” Many people who are considering Twitter see this as a limitation when compared to the many things you can do with Buzz. Twitter is mostly about giving your status. You can post links in Twitter using a link shortening tool like bit.ly but with Buzz you can do such things as add photos and in-line videos. Since Buzz is from Google, you can get messages right into your Gmail inbox.
It really depends on what you want to do. Is Google Buzz a substitute for Twitter and Facebook? The answer is probably no for Twitter and yes for Facebook. Buzz has features that are closer to Facebook than to Twitter. However, consider that Twitter has a variety of additional applications that enhance what you can do with it. Facebook and Buzz, while not having this same volume of applications, will probably continue to work on this area for the future. Having made these observations, will Google take the number one slot in the social media world? Many experts don’t see this happening because of the popularity of Facebook and the ease of Twitter micro blogging.