The New Google Buzz How will Buzz affect Twitter & Facebook

The New Google Buzz How will Buzz affect Twitter & Facebook

Last Updated: November 16, 2011

To date, Google has failed to launch a successful social networking product. Google Wave is an interesting concept, but it has proven too abstract to catch on to the mass market quick enough.

The question is will Buzz, Google’s new Twitter and Facebook like social stream, win Google a dominant place in the social web market?

Buzz’s success could depend mainly on Integration with existing social networks — especially Facebook. It is unlikly that Buzz will achieve significant success without Facebook integration. When Google launched Buzz it was announced that the app will share your Twitter updates with your Buzz followers. This is good news but there will be no integration with Facebook (as of yet).

When you post a new tweet using Twitter, Google can import that tweet and send it out to your Buzz followers with the rest of your Buzz updates. You won’t have to get over any obstacles to make it happen. Twitter is officially supported by Buzz — the same is true for other social products such as Flickr, Picasa, Blogger and YouTube.

While Buzz and Twitter have some connectivity, there’s very little between Buzz and Facebook to date. Buzz doesn’t import your Facebook status updates. It doesn’t post updates to your Facebook feed. It doesn’t display your friends’ feed updates. There’s no Facebook Connect integration at all. When asked about it, Google said it had nothing to announce at that time.

It will prove difficult for Google to build a  user base when everyone who has a Facebook profile is concerned that they can’t see their connections updates. They’ll have to keep using Facebook to stay in touch with their Facebook friends.

With more than 400 million users, Facebook is the world’s largest social network, Twitter by contrast has only 18 million or so. Gmail’s unique visitors numbered around 36 million as of last year. Clearly, Facebook is dominating. Google is attempting to challenge that dominance with Buzz, but Facebook is at the same time planning to move just as aggressively into Google’s territory.

Facebook now dominates the social web so completely that it’s difficult to imagine an exodus to a competing service, unless that service offered some ground breaking new features that Facebook couldn’t possibly match, at the moment Buzz doesnt.

One Scenario that could happen is a service that aggregates other services’ features and content, and then offers up its own set of unique benefits that make the social web experience better. People would feel comfortable switching for the extra benefits, because they wouldn’t have to leave their existing connections behind.

The outlook could change if Buzz integrates with Facebook the way it does with Twitter. Unless that happens, though, you’re better off keeping your bets on Facebook.

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