Posted by Heather Strang on February 8, 2010 06:37 PM
Google has announced plans to add social media-esque updates to its Gmail program. Currently, Gmail users can update their availability through the Gmail chat feature, but it simply consists of “available” or “busy” settings, along with the ability to add a custom message.
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Google products YouTube and Picasa will also be part of the status update stream. The new feature will allegedly allow individuals to see status updates, much like Facebook and Twitter. But, the big question is: will the new features include Twitter and Facebook updates as an aggregate or will they rival the two?
Google is pretty impressive, but would they really want to take on mega social media like Facebook and Twitter? They might. And let’s be honest, we’ve all wondered who will top Facebook, and this may be it. Exactly how the Gmail status updates will work is still unknown, but no doubt Google is working hard to develop something that’s far more savvy than anything we’ve experienced thus far.
It would be less risky (and perhaps far less fear inducing for Facebook and Twitter) if the new Gmail feature provided an integrated view of friend's social media profiles. However, my money is on Google competing directly with Facebook and Twitter. It should be an interesting battle to watch. If Google’s past performance is any indication, whatever they do will most likely result in some sort of cultural change.