Google Buzz has certainly been the talk du jour in social media circles. My sense is that once the buzz about Buzz subsides, Google's foray into social media might be yet another unsuccessful attempt at toppling Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Twitter. Here's why:
- End User Investment - Facebook is about connecting everyone. Think of the millions of Facebook users - the pictures they have uploaded, the people they have friended, and the updates they have broadcast. Users are unbelievably invested in the Facebook community. The last thing I think they want to do is upload yet another profile picture to Google Buzz. Remember Yahoo 360?
- Corporate Investment - Large organizations have embraced Facebook and Twitter as cornerstones of their social media and inbound marketing campaigns. They are unlikely to shift expertise and resources to an unproven social media platform, even if Google is behind it.
- Privacy - Google made some grave missteps around privacy in its initial Buzz roll-out. This certainly left a bad taste in the mouths of early adopters which led to, well, some serious negative buzz.
- Google Everywhere - From search, to email, to digital books, to phones, to energy, is Google spreading itself too thin to compete with Facebook, especially given Facebook's huge head start?
- Facebook Becomes the Internet - Project Titan, Facebook's effort at more robust messaging functionality, is certainly aimed at tackling Gmail. Further, RockMelt, described as a Facebook-focused web browser, could put your friends, Farmville, and your News Feed directly on your desktop. Even more ambitiously, since RockMelt is backed by Marc Andreessen, it might transform web browsing as we now know it.
With the tremendous user investment in Facebook, Google might be wise to continue to evolve the thing it does best - search.
What do you think will happen? Are you a Buzz user? How has Buzz changed the way you use Facebook or Twitter, if at all?