Is Google Buzz too much too soon — or too little too late?Posted on Wed Feb 10 2010
Every month, Google quietly rolls out new features and tools that 99% of its users never hear about.
So why did Google Buzz, one of the most complex social network offerings in Google’s history, get pushed out to more than 150 million Gmail users in the first few days?a replacement for FriendFeed, a site that never really gained mainstream acceptance in the first place.
If you were one of the many who got Google Buzz added to your Gmail account today, I bet you had one of the following reactions:
- Normal human response: “Oh my, what is this? Looks complicated. Please get it out of my way so I can go back to checking e-mail.”
- Marketing professional response: “Oh great, another social took I have to try and master in the next few days or risk being left behind like a 35-year-old on MySpace.
- Social media nerd response: “Oh wow, it's like FriendFeed and Google Wave had a cute little baby!"
I’ll be shocked if you logged in, saw Google Buzz for yourself and said, “Hallelujah! My dreams of a social information utopia have finally been made flesh!”
I’m not saying that Google Buzz is a bad idea. I was pleasantly surprised by how intuitive the service flows and updates, and it's already made for some great conversations.
As someone whose “home base” is Gmail, I have to say I like having ongoing conversations without having to pull up Facebook or FriendFeed. In this way, it’s an improvement over Google Reader, which often sparks great conversations about shared blog posts despite being a terribly inconvenient forum for it.
As always, time will tell whether this is a game-changer or just another Jaiku, the Twitter competitor that Google bought but never found a way to leverage.
So what do you need to know about Google Buzz today?Google now has a service that lets you share links and photos with your network from the comfort of your Gmail account.
Put it that way, and it’s clear to see why this is a useful addition to Gmail. But in practice, I fear it will simply be too much for people who’ve probably long since invested that social energy in Facebook and just want to check their e-mail.