Unlike the whole Google Wave story, Google surprised us with a new, quite impressive, and certainly one of the biggest new features of the last years. Where the Google Wave launch was well prepared and they managed to create a whole fuzz about it with the limited amount of invites they sent out (remember the invites that were sold for big $$$ on eBay) and the noise they generated around it. Unfortunately, Wave was certainly one of the biggest deceptions of the last years. I don’t really see the use of it and many others seem to have the same feeling.
Yesterday, they launched a new thing that is called Google Buzz.
The noise around it before the launch, was quite reduced (or maybe that was because I was on holidays for quite some time) and the announcement came basically as some sort of a surprise. They definitely learned about their Wave mistakes by keeping it down and launching it smoothly into everyone’s Gmail account, which allows them to have a potential audience of around 176 million users from the start. Not quite at the level of facebook with 400 million users, but certainly better than Twitter and Foursquare.
For those of you who don’t know what Google Buzz is, here is the official video:
The funny thing is that the mobile version, even with a genuine iPhone app, gives more possibilities than the web based version through the geolocalisation. Here is the official video presenting the mobile version:
My thoughts on Google Buzz:
- It’s quite amazing but it’s still a mix of existing features (facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Friendfeed) and therefore not really innovating. But Bill Gates based his fortune on stealing the best from others, so …
- The rather closed model, linked to a Gmail account makes it quite less interesting for a business use … and will people be fond of using their “personal” address and share it with the world?
- They integrate your stream from Twitter, but you can’t (unless I’m wrong) take your buzz stream outside the Gmail environment. This will not make people switch to Buzz and forget about Twitter. But I guess our friends of Tweetdeck and Seesmic are already working really hard to integrate Buzz, which will make the whole thing a bit more accessible for real Twitterers
- The fact that they integrate multimedia (photo through Flickr & Picasa, video through Youtube, blogposts through Blogger) gives them a competitive advantage
- It’s not really easy to find the right people. They should make it possible to link with existing platforms to not waste hours to find the people you want and with whom you’re probably already in contact with somewhere else
Here is what Jeff Jarvis thinks about it
Any additional thoughts? Feel free!