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Google Buzz: Facebook Killer?

At first glance, Google Buzz looks like a Friendfeed/Twitter clone with a few extra features thrown in. But there’s for more to it than meets the eye. To get the real scoop on how it was received in the online world, we turned to the social media space.

We analyzed a total of 311,960 tweets over two days (February 9, 10). A majority thought it was capable of giving Facebook a run for its money. Here’s how the numbers added up:

  • 59% thought that Google Buzz spells the end of Facebook's dominance.
  • 24% were unimpressed. They called Google Buzz a Twitter clone and a failure on Google’s part.
  • 12% were completely in the dark and had no idea what Google Buzz was all about.
  • 4% were eager to try Google Buzz, but hadn’t formed an opinion yet.
  • 1% didn’t care that Google Buzz exists and were genuinely not interested.

Some of the features that got Google Buzz the thumbs up:

  • No character limit on posts allows for easier updates
  • Option to share messages and comments or keep them private
  • Updates on messages are sent directly to your inbox
  • Any updates on Google Buzz appear in real time
  • New comments get updated without having to refresh the page
  • Google Buzz integrates with other sites such as Twitter, Picasa, Flickr, etc., and is photo friendly.

But not all agree. According to Augie Ray, a Forrester Research analyst, a massive migration to Google Buzz from Twitter and Facebook is doubtful. Users on existing social networks will find it hard to make the transition to a new network built into an email provider. Other criticisms included invasion privacy and the intrusive nature of the tool. The criticism over privacy concerns grew, and Google responded swiftly. Google decided to alter one of the most-criticized features in Buzz: the ready-made circle of friends the service provided to new users based on their most frequent e-mail and chat contacts in Gmail. Instead of automatically connecting people, Buzz will in the future merely suggest a group of people they may want to follow or be followed by

Google Buzz will get a massive user lift as Gmail has over 175 million subscribers. But it remains to be seen if users are willing to use all social media in one place. Will privacy concerns slow down the march of Google Buzz? Not according to Jeremiah Owyang, “Privacy woes will scare consumers, yet adoption will continue upwards.”

Stay tuned to find out where the chips eventually fall. We’ll continue to monitor the social media space and keep you posted!

Methodology: We discovered keywords after doing a manual analysis via Twitter search for Google Buzz.

Keywords: “Twitter killer”, “I like Google buzz”, “I love Google buzz”, “twitter like service”, “Google failure”, “twitter clone”, “socially awkward”, “auto-following”, “what is Google buzz”, “end of Facebook”

Contributed by Nallai Wickreman and Jade Agnet D'costa, Social Media Marketing, Position²

Team Position²

Position2 is an innovative digital marketing agency that accelerates demand through integrated Content Marketing, Paid Acquisition, and Marketing Technology solutions. Our demand acceleration solutions map the buyer's journey across multiple touch points such as search, social, mobile, media, and email. These integrated campaigns are powered by cutting-edge content creation, digital advertising, web design/development, marketing automation, and analytics. We serve hundreds of clients ranging from VC funded startups to Fortune 500 multinational firms. Our 200-member team is based in Silicon Valley and Bangalore and consists of marketing gurus, engineers, data scientists, writers, and designers. Founded in 2006, Position2 is backed by Accel Partners.