Posted by Ben Berkon on February 12, 2010 03:55 PM
There is no doubt that Google’s new “Buzz” is their best impression of Facebook and Twitter, but will it actually become the new Facebook and Twitter? Google certainly hopes so, but it may prove more difficult than Google thinks.
Even though other former social networking giants like Friendster and even MySpace have fallen by the wayside, there is no reason to believe that Facebook and Twitter will join their former competitors in the social networking underworld just because Google has joined the fray.
Remember, Facebook has a growing base of more than 400 million users, and Twitter reportedly had their most successful month in January, boasting 1.2 billion Tweets. Do those numbers suggest users will whimsically depart? It doesn’t seem likely – even in light of Google’s impressive reach and considerable power.
Also, Facebook, users aren’t just hooked on chatting, messaging, and social networking – it has also become a safe haven for third-party applications. For instance, Farmville, a social game where users create and run a virtual farm, attracts more than 75 million people per month. While Facebook has made its bread and butter with its social networking appeal, their third-party applications are also putting food on the table (in more ways than one).
A bigger challenge for Google, however, will be changing the culture of how people socially interact online – territory now largely defined by Facebook and Twitter.
Google certainly has an advantage since the brand already has a network of millions of e-mail users, but will that be enough to sway those already loyal to Facebook and Twitter?