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Google vs. Facebook for King of the Social Media Hill
[February 10, 2010]

Google vs. Facebook for King of the Social Media Hill

TMCnet Contributing Editor
Get the popcorn, this is going to be fun. And hurry up - it probably won't go ten rounds.

The first salvo has been fired in the brewing war between Google and Facebook for social media dominance: The Associated Press (News - Alert) is reporting that Google (News - Alert) opened a new social hub in its e-mail service, called Google Buzz.

And wouldn't you know, it has not a few Facebooky features.

Coincidence piles upon coincidence- when Facebook (News - Alert) wheeled out its latest revamp, it put a list of friends available for chatting about where Gmail has it.

Google Buzz will let Gmail users post updates about what they are doing or thinking and share those with the rest of the world or with only a select group of people, the AP says: 'Gmail users also will be able to track other people's updates and instantly comment on them for everyone else in the social circle to see.' You can also post video, photos and Web links.

Can Google succeed in the social network arena? Let's rephrase that: How many of you use their current social networking tool, Orkut?

Maybe we're all trembling just because it's Google throwing its weight around. After all, it's the product, the service itself that will determine success, and from early reviews, we may have another Orkut corpse on our hands here.

Business Insider reports that 'Like many Google products, it appears to be nicely engineered and has a clean design. But like many Google services, it lacks any imagination or compelling reasons to use it.'

In fact, Business Insider branded it 'late, boring and lame: 400 million people are already happily using Facebook, and tens of millions (or hundreds of thousands) are using the other services. Why would they switch to this Google service when there are no compelling reasons to do so? And if Google isn't going to actually kill Facebook with this thing, what's the point?'

Indeed. Getting away from its core competency to throw out lame imitations of creative, dynamic, successful ideas it didn't have in the first place… could Google be turning into Microsoft (News - Alert) after all?

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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