Google rolled out its latest product, called Google Buzz [announcement], this time in the social networking arena. Buzz is built into Gmail and has tight integration with your e-mail inbox.
You can share links, photos and videos directly from within Gmail and it uses your existing set of Gmail contacts. You can see what your friends are sharing and Buzz also recommends items based on your activity.
As comment updates occur, they appear in your Inbox, and you can reply to keep the conversation going. I can see this becoming problematic for those people with large networks, and I’m sure that the Gmail team will probably (have to) come up with a Gmail Labs feature to separate Buzz content from regular e-mail.
Buzz for mobile adds another dimension in that it can pinpoint where you were when you shared or commented.
Google obviously recognizes that they are hardly first to the social scene and have already included hooks for updating/posting to Twitter, YouTube, Picasa and Flickr.
Notably missing from that list is Facebook. There is absolutely no Facbook integration and to most observers that spells direct competition. Google will obviously have an uphill battle ahead of it, although it has a decent start with its 150 million users. However, if the rumor of an @facebook.com e-mail service came to fruition, Google could be in a lot of trouble, and Buzz will probably not succeed in prying users away from Facebook. Google should probably just play nice and implement Facebook integration.
For now, we say use both Facebook and Buzz. As someone that shares on various networks, I’ve just accepted that there will never be just one, which is why I use FriendFeed to aggregate my various streams.