Posted February 9, 2010 2:39 pm by with 23 comments

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How would you like to launch a social network and instantly amass more than 150 million monthly users?

Well, Google just launched Google Buzz and it’s going to be tied into its existing Gmail user base–all 150+ million of them!

How smart is that?

Google has failed to gain traction with any of its previous social networking efforts. How many of you are active Orkut or Google Wave users? So, instead of trying to build a new social network from scratch–and likely failing–it’s tying Google Buzz directly into its email offering.


It’s built right into Gmail, so you don’t have to peck out an entirely new set of friends from scratch — it just works. If you think about it, there’s always been a big social network underlying Gmail. Buzz brings this network to the surface by automatically setting you up to follow the people you email and chat with the most. We focused on building an easy-to-use sharing experience that richly integrates photos, videos and links, and makes it easy to share publicly or privately (so you don’t have to use different tools to share with different audiences). Plus, Buzz integrates tightly with your existing Gmail inbox, so you’re sure to see the stuff that matters most as it happens in real time.

I added the bolding for two reasons. One to show you the features Buzz brings to Gmail, but the other is to point out the Jedi mind-trick that Google is pulling on you. You see, you thought your inbox was all about sending emails. Nah ah, apparently you’ve been sitting on a vast social network and–whether you like it or not–Google’s about to tap into that network.

Even more clever on Google’s part, is that it’s not reinventing the wheel. In fact, it wants you to bring all of your existing wheels to Google Buzz.

We’ve relied on other services’ openness in order to build Buzz (you can connect Flickr and Twitter from Buzz in Gmail), and Buzz itself is not designed to be a closed system. Our goal is to make Buzz a fully open and distributed platform for conversations. We’re building on a suite of open protocols to create a complete read/write developer API, and we invite developers to join us on Google Code to see what is available today and to learn more about how to participate.

Does this sound like any popular service you know that was recently acquired? *cough* Friendfeed! *cough*

Of course, like any new Google product, you’re going to have to wait for Buzz to rollout to your Gmail account. Fortunately, unlike the Google Wave invite fiasco, you should see Buzz automatically appear in your Gmail account over the next few days.

Speaking of Google Wave, is that now dead in the water? I mean, did anyone really ever figure out how to use the thing anyway?

It seems to me that Google Buzz is exactly what Google Wave should have been in the first place!

Check out the video below, then share your thoughts in the comments!

  • Daniel

    Is there a way to import facebook friends in? A big issue is that I connect with many people on facebook that I don’t have on Gmail. I know many people who don’t want to go through the trouble of entering 500 email addresses just to keep track of people they sometimes keep in touch with.
    .-= Daniel´s last blog ..Festival of Frugality #216 =-.

    • Andy Beal

      Not sure, I guess we’ll find out in a couple of days. 😉

  • Jana

    Thanks for info and video.
    How smart is that? – pretty smart

    Waiting for Buzz to rollout now,
    all the best,

  • Kaila S | Vertical Measures

    Interesting….I was one of the excited people when Wave first was demo’d, but since then have failed to see its usefulness in my life. I still am not that fond of using Gmail, so Buzz might not be for me…but looks interesting nonetheless. Interested to see how it all pans out.
    .-= Kaila S | Vertical Measures´s last blog ..Do Search Results Vary By Browser? =-.

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  • John S

    I’d love to read a follow-up post about how Google Buzz catches on and how many users are open to yet another social media network. Only time will tell…

  • Cassi

    “It seems to me that Google Buzz is exactly what Google Wave should have been in the first place!”

    My thoughts exactly! If they had somehow integrated Wave into Gmail I might have used it. I wonder what kind of impact Buzz will have on Facebook…

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  • Luci

    I logged into Gmail and yesterday and got asked about Buzz, i did wonder what it was! It looks, initially, better than Google Wave did. I was so excited to get an invite to that… and then never got to the bottom of how it worked/why it was supposed to be any good.
    One thing i’m not so clear on though, is it soley for gmail users? Hardly any of my friends are use it, but if it allows for all users in one form or another then i can see how it might take off.
    .-= Luci´s last blog ..Google Social Search – What does it mean for SEO? =-.

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  • Iflexion

    The video looks really encouraging.
    That’s an interesting and tricky idea to integrate buzz with gmail. So the application is easy to try on. That’s that make it possible for buzz to gain some authority in the world of social networks. We have a lot of them and google should do its best to impress everybody to switch to Buzz.

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  • Mohamed Adam Jr

    lol, this is smart 😀 I just hope this time it doesn’t file
    .-= Mohamed Adam Jr´s last blog ..XanGo Training Tips That Will Increase Results In Your Team =-.

    • Elle Wood

      Google is a great example of powerful leadership within their niche and market. I love many of the services they offer and Google Buzz is a new one on my list.
      .-= Elle Wood´s last blog ..Put the Spark Back in Your Culture =-.

  • Css Creme

    Well, interesting integration, and i opted in, but i am really skeptic if it can go any better then Gwave. Majority of people are already deeply into facebook and twitter, and it will be hard to anyone, even Google, to push them on the other side.
    .-= Css Creme´s last blog ..Fonts 101 – Classification =-.

  • Sean McGinnis

    Seems like Wave light integrated with Gmail. When wave launched I speculate don another blog that auto-rolling features might be what was required in order to create adoption rates significant enough to build momentum and audience. Watching the video I can’t help but think about something like
    .-= Sean McGinnis´s last blog ..MBE Question of the Day #43 =-.

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  • Montažne hiše

    I think one of the ways that Google can really “take on” Facebook would be to improve on their policies around use and ownership of uploaded material, and reduce the number of ads that are increasingly forced on users.

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  • Kelly

    Cool! That is good to learn about, I noticed the buzz emblem on my e-mail page the other day, ( I am a gmailer of course, no better way to do e-mail :) ) and I was wondering what that was all about! Now I know. Thanks for the info! :)
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..How to Make a Photography Portfolio =-.