Ronnie05's Blog

Facebook and Google on Collision course

Posted in Internet and Search, Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on February 15, 2010

Facebook celebrated its 6th birthday on 4th February and they had mettle to show: 400 million subscribers. To top the 400 million number, Facebook also did some cosmetic job on its website to commemorate its 6th birthday. The latest 50 million addition to subscribers came in 2 months as against the last 50 million users which happened in 3 months. This thus negates the view that Facebook growth is hitting the plateau and is beginning to slow.

Reports otherwise suggest that Facebook is apparently working on an full featured web email service under its project Titan. The Facebook email, when launched is likely jump to a spot in the top three email services the moment it starts – Facebook has 400 million users or thereabouts. So while Facebook extends itself into a webmail and unofficially and over-enthusiastically readying the Gmail killer, Google is doing the opposite – turning the (current) number one in email into a social networking site.

Google is launching Google Buzz – a social networking tool that integrates into Gmail and taps into a lot of other sites, like Twitter, Picasa, Flickr and Google Reader. With Google Buzz, the search giant is playing to their strengths. Updates and comment goes straight into a dynamic entry in the Gmail Inbox. Positioning is an important part of Google Buzz – but it’s not just the current coordinates.It uses Google Places – users can post a comment about the place, check out information about it and other places near it, look through comments of others about the same place and so on.

Google Buzz has a quick and easy to use photo browser and video player and has made posting images and videos simple. It imports content from Flickr and Picasa and it even pulls the images from a link posted by the user. Clicking on them would embed them into the post.

Buzz also shows the Twitter streams of contacts and recommends posts by friends’ friends. By selecting which ones the user likes, Google Buzz gets even better at recommending comments that are interesting to the user. For now however, it can only display Twitter feeds. Buzz also integrates the news feeds from Google Reader to push the brink of information overload.

Google Buzz will be heavily used as a mobile app – Apple iPhone and the Android are the first to get it, because they have HTML5 support for location-based services.

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