So, Google Buzz has arrived, seemingly out of nowhere. And I have to say, it’s OK….
And just OK at that. While it’s not the potentially revolutionary step that Google Wave could have been, it is Google’s best effort at tackling the “Social Web” so far.
The problem is that it comes across as a hackneyed attempt to compete with Twitter and Facebook. First, it’s essentially a Twitter clone, without the character limits and plus links to outside sites (like Twitter itself), so there’s nothing really new in place. It’s really hard to justify “buying in” on Buzz when you’re already invested elsewhere, and until Buzz can differentiate itself, I’m sure many others will view it in the same light.
Second, it’s basically just slapped into the gmail interface. Let’s not understress this point, because if you have a track record of launching new tools seperately with possible ties to one another, then why make your first legitimate foray into the “Social Web”, then why just slap it into something already existing? With gmail, which I’m sure many people simply access via POP or IMAP like I do at home, there are millions who may not even see the new service if they are not logging in through the gmail web interface.
It’s like the Google team said “Well, Wave didn’t take off as we had hoped, but we need to do something to compete with Twitter and Facebook…like clone them and mash them together!”
While I’ll be playing on Buzz for a little while to see if the Google team can take it to the next level that it so desperately needs (yes, just two days after launch), if they can’t take it there, it will just be gathering dust in the near future…
Back to the drawing boards, Google team!