Like many people who use Gmail, an interesting little surprise popped up in my account this week. Google's has decided to enter the social networking game with their new service known as Google Buzz. Not only was it announced this week, but if you have a gmail account, you were automatically set up with Buzz and are following people that Google has chosen for you. Google making decisions for you? Sounds familiar!
The new social networking service hopes to compete with already popular site like Facebook and Twitter. Although it may be nice having your email and status updates all in the same place, it doesn't seem like Google stands a chance against its competitors. Google's approach is to eliminate the clutter involved in the other sites. The format is more similar to Twitter than Facebook, allowing you to post photos, updates, and links, but nothing else. The privacy settings however are more like Facebook, giving you the option to limit your page to "friends only."
Although there is a number of similarities, Gmail product manager, Todd Jackson stated "We try not to pay too much attention to competitors, we try to listen to users." If you say so Google!