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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I think Google Buzz may finally be IT.

The buzz today is about Buzz. Google's, that is. The last greatly-hyped about Google experiment - Google Wave - didn't quite get the raving response we'd have expected and past social networking experiments - Orkut and the Open Social project - didn't quite scale up to the heights of Facebook and Twitter.


But check out Buzz...


...I think it's got it all. Here's why:

Gmail user base:

An old news story from the Financial Times I found puts Gmail's user base to be "more than 100 million". By comparison, Facebook's official page (as of time of writing) has its userbase at 400 million. But, I'd like to point out that having 100 million users (possibly) turned on in a very short period of time is miles ahead of having to grow organically one user at a time and presents a very real (instant) threat to Facebook.

The other point about having the Gmail user base is that Buzz intelligently identifies connections you've made (by looking at who you've emailed) and takes away the most painful part of setting up a social networking account - finding friends! In fact, if you've already been regularly emailing your friends, you'll soon be buzzing them too, I presume.

Mobile Apps:

Clearly, the next wave of social networking is going to be mobile. Apps that let you share where you are, update while standing in queue and generally be as little of a nuisance as possible while giving you meaningful connections with the people you love is what mobile is about. Checking-in on foursquare or posting a quick picture on Facebook via your mobile device means you won't forget to do it when you get home or be faced with the tedious task of uploading dozens of photos and organising them when you get home.

What's interesting is how Google has launched Buzz simultaneously into its mobile Google Maps app and taken advantage of the GPS feature on most phones to make geo-locating buzz(s?) something easy and contextual.

Simple and Natural

The third reason why I think Buzz will be a success is because of how elegant the system is. People have compared it to Twitter & FriendFeed - calling Buzz out on some very similar features. But there's nothing wrong with a little copying here and there, I say, especially if the system works.

And yet, the best thing is that Google's services help build a self-contained environment for all your content needs. Need photo uploading? Yes, Flickr will work, but so will Picasa. Video? Youtube then. BUt at the same time, it adopts open standards (thanks @paullmf for pointing out) so 3rd party developers get to use it in different ways.

Services built by others expand on Twitter's usability, but Buzz starts with them already - so that's one problem out of the way.

4 comments:

Friedbeef said...

Got to love the gmail product manager :)

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