By now many of you have probably heard about Google’s new product called Google Buzz. In some ways it’s like Facebook and Twitter, but yet it offers some additional things. Google Buzz is Gmails’s social network that promotes collaboration and idea sharing through conversation and the spreading of photos, videos and other content. And what opportunity does this provide for marketers? Imagine users taking advantage of Google Buzz to get feedback from their community of friends on what they are doing—and more importantly for marketers—what they are purchasing. There is huge potential to use Google Buzz during the decision making process for large, often expensive products. For example, you might be in Crate & Barrel contemplating the purchase of a sofa. You could easily upload a photo and wait for feedback from your friends and family before making the purchase. This underscores the concept of peer-to-peer recommendations, one of the most powerful marketing forces out there.
Yet, even with its many advantages, Google Buzz is not without controversy. It can certainly be a good thing for both consumers and marketers if Google executes correctly, but it can be bad if privacy is not respected. In its rush to get it launched, Google may have overlooked significant privacy controls and they already seem to be publicly scrambling to tweak the service because of some complaints. This must be corrected quickly as consumers are already more comfortable with services like Facebook and Twitter, so Google has its work cut out in building an audience that is valuable to marketers. In order to succeed, Google Buzz will have to be the best in the sector and consumers will have to adopt it and spread it virally. This is paramount in order for Google to build the right user experience and value proposition.
What are your thoughts about Google Buzz? Do you use it? Do you like it? What have you heard others say about it? Visit us on Facebook, Twitter or our Blog and let us know what you think about this new social media tool.