The buzz is certainly upon us. Not unlike several months ago when Google spearheaded their PR campaign to introduce the world to what they thought (and still kinda is) a revolutionary work-flow solution in Google Wave, the company releases – albeit slowly – their social media platform entitled Google Buzz. Obviously, social media has become the focus of tech-savvy companies the world over, minus those that haven’t objected to social media or don’t know where to start. Few companies have really learned how to monetize the social media space. This is one area where Google may have the upper hand and wherewithal to succeed with Google Buzz, they know how to monetize useful applications and platforms.
What is Google Buzz?
Google Buzz has been dubbed the Twitter killer, the next big thing in social media, etc — the droll marketing pitch rarely changes with time. Essentially, Google Buzz is an application layer built on top of Gmail that acts like Twitter. You can send and receive real time status updates from friends on Buzz, Twitter and other platforms.
What makes Google Buzz different?
Google promises a ton of interesting functionality including:
- Public and Private buzzing
- Integration with other social platforms
- Embedded media such as images, audio, and video
- Predictive filtering (based on observed behavior, hmmm, creepy)
To be sure, this is a great bunch of features, but as Kevin O’Leary might say during an episode of Dragon’s Den, “that’s great and everything, but tell me, how do I make money!?”
(Note: My Canadiana is showing again. I think Kev is on “Shark Tank” for my American)
Luckily, if it’s one thing Google knows how to do, it’s monetize a successful platform. Without saying, Google Search is a hugely successful platform for both Google and it’s Advertisers thanks to more than a decade of developing Google Adwords. But don’t forget, Gmail is also a hugely successful platform for advertisers. Embedded ads alongside your personal email are highly targeted, and often highly profitable spots to advertise.
Since Google Buzz sits atop Gmail, I’m willing to bet (because I don’t have access just yet… Google peeps hook me up!), ads are tightly integrated in this initial release, or a subsequent release, making the platform essentially pay for itself, and garnering a lot of attention in a highly starved competitive space.
As in any blog post published this early on in the game, I have to caveat my own observations with, “it’s too soon to tell” whether Buzz will go out like Wave. However, unlike Wave, at least the majority of us online marketing and social media geeks have some idea what Buzz might be useful for. That’s saying a lot, actually.