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Facebook’s new rival

Google wants its share of the social networking pie, too. With its latest offering — Google Buzz — the IT giant is set on a collision course with Facebook and Twitter.

tech reviews Updated: Feb 11, 2010 01:42 IST
Rahul Sabharwal

Google wants its share of the social networking pie, too. With its latest offering — Google Buzz — the IT giant is set on a collision course with Facebook and Twitter.

Buzz, a social networking space, is integrated into a Gmail account and allows one to share status updates, photos, and videos from the email site itself. Its tagline, ‘Go beyond status messages’, is a direct challenge to Facebook, which relies heavily on its USP of sharing what one is up to.

Not surprisingly, Buzz is the hottest buzzword online. On Twitter, it was the most talked about topic yesterday, getting mixed responses from users. “This will be a wakeup call to other social network sites. Google isn’t tiptoeing in like it did with Orkut,” posted jonmallin, a user. “A lot of people will use this... no more juggling a million social networks,” posts Eagle 628.

Not everyone is excited, though. “Google Buzz — Just a new way to start conversations about stuff no one really cares about,” posts Tzianno on Twitter.

Buzzing
The social networking features are built into Gmail, which has 176 million users.
The 40 people you converse with the most through Gmail and Gchat are automatically added as friends.
Photos from Flickr and Picasa and videos from YouTube will appear as thumbnails.
You can ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ status updates.
Choice of making updates private.
Launched on Tuesday, Google Buzz will be gradually be available to Gmail users everywhere.