Buzz, which Google is rolling out now to Gmail inboxes, incorporates status updates and shared content such as photos, video and links from people on the user's contact list into the inbox.
Buzz: Game-Changer or the Next Wave?
In its first few days, Buzz has generated plenty of, well, buzz, ranging from game-changer predictions to jaded shrugs.
It won't change the email game immediately, the way Gmail itself did since its 2004 launch. But it could have Gmail-like growth, grabbing market share slowly and surely, giving it a huge base of regular users in three to four years. (Gmail email addresses now likely account for about 10% to 15% of a typical B-to-C list and up to 25% for newer lists.)
Buzz likely has greater adoption potential than other Google initiatives such as Wave, which generated a lot of initial buzz but limited adoption. Among Buzz's plusses:
Rising to the Challenge of Inboxes Gone Social
Although it's too early in the game to predict how Google Buzz will affect Gmail use, this broader encroachment of social conversations into the email stream is clearly the future, with the following implications for email marketers:
How to respond to the Buzz factor:
1. Work harder to get your sending email address added to recipients' contact lists or address books.
2. Brand your "from" and subject lines. This helps your messages stand out from the onslaught of Buzz message alerts.
3. One-to-one messaging must replace one-to-many broadcasts. Personalization that reflects preferences and buying history, triggered emails and value-added transactional emails will compete better with Buzz's highly relevant message alerts.
It's your turn now. Do you think Buzz is more likely to gain traction than Wave because it leverages an existing inbox, contact list and Google services that millions of consumers already know about?
Until next time, take it up a notch!
Nice review Loren.. YES, I think they'll get alot more traction... as well as what MS is planning in future releases, it should be an interesting 2010 at the consumer inbox level.
Very thoughtful review. As to Paula's privacy concerns, while there may be significant issues to address, Google has a much better track record in that regard than Facebook. Yet users are intrusting FB with more and more sensitive info all the time. Building Buzz's platform from the inbox surely gives in leverage to build.
After Facebook's privacy-reset stunt last year, I trust them with my personal information a lot less than Google.
All - Great comments on the privacy angle. I've seen a number of negative comments on that angle on various blogs, etc. As a few of you implied, I think we'll see Google adjust settings farily quickly as the feedback comes in.
The real question, I think, is can Google create enough value with Buzz - aggregation, minimizing the noise, location-based presence, etc - that people are willing to forgo the other aggregators and tools they use. The inability to post to both Twitter and Facebook are huge disadvantages at this point.
Why does anyone think I or anyone else does or should trust FB more than Google? I distrust both as much as the other or others concerning privacy.
A few updates:
After only less than two days of being live, Buzz has already surpassed 9 million posts - http://mashable.com/2010/02/11/google-buzz-9-million/
And while there are still plenty of Buzz detractors - at least one social media pundit is farily bullish on Buzz's upside - http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/ptech/02/11/cashmore.google.buzz/index.html