Monday, January 3, 2011Business Standard Story – Why Google Buzz Failed….
Despite a sharp uptake of social media (Facebook and Twitter) on mobile phones why did Google Buzz fail to get users excited online?
India is witnessing a mobile revolution — we have crossed 600 million subscribers. Add to this the introduction of low-cost smartphones, the growth for Facebook and Twitter, which were already popular platforms online. Also, the generation to come is more comfortable with personal devices like a mobile phone for social networking than a home PC, which is shared by many. No wonder we saw Twitter and Facebook making their mark on Indian audiences this year. Facebook even became the number one social networking site in India overtaking Google’s Orkut.
Facebook numbers are overwhelming not just in terms of subscribers but in terms of active usage. The reasons are obvious — Facebook is your social life on the web. It is as real as it can get. You have your friends in your network, you share your pictures with them, you poke them, put up status messages for them, even organise real life parties with them. Another very interesting aspect was the resurgence of gaming in India through Facebook. The site utilised and engaged game developers, and threw the medium open for them to develop games. It was an instant success.
Now coming to Google Buzz. First of all, noone seems to be using it. It was a launch that went wrong from the beginning. For one, a person uses Gmail for one purpose only — emailing. The product was piggybacked on every one’s Gmail account, which means that one ends up following almost the entire Gmail address book and gets almost 100 buzz updates a week. Now, one may not want updates from all the people on their Gmail account, and may need to only know about people they know. One might be using Gmail for different reasons — for personal emails, for official communication, for sending in professional articles, resumes etc. Gmail is an email tool for most and they do not want to mix that up with any update engines. And on top of it most people already have Twitter and Facebook for that. People simply lack the time or effort to update Google Buzz and Twitter. Google Buzz came late to the party.