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!