Google Enters Social Networking With Buzz

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Google ( GOOG) entered the turf of Facebook and other social media sites by launching a new service named Google Buzz that brings social updates such as photos and Web links into Gmail and some Google mobile products.

Buzz is built into Gmail so the user is automatically following the people he emails and chats with the most.

In order to make the sharing experience really rich, Google has focused on integrating photos, videos and links, wrote Edward Ho, tech lead of Google Buzz, on a company blog.

Todd Jackson, the product manager for Buzz, described the service as "a new world inside of Gmail."

"There has always been a giant social network beneath Gmail," he told the Wall Street Journal.

To ensure the user doesn't miss out on the best part of sharing, Buzz sends responses to posts straight to the Gmail inbox. Unlike static email messages, Buzz messages in the user's inbox are live conversations where comments appear in real time, Google said.

Facebook, the social networking giant, told the Journal it hadn't used Google Buzz but was "supportive of technologies that help make the Web more social and the world more open," adding it's "interested to see how Google Buzz progresses over time."

Microsoft's director of product management for Windows Live, Dharmesh Mehta, told the Journal: "Busy people don't want another social network, what they want is the convenience of aggregation. We've done that. Hotmail customers have benefited from Microsoft working with Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and 75 other partners since 2008."

Buzz plans to distinguish itself by helping people aggregate other social sites. To start, users can connect Buzz to other Google Web sites, along with Twitter and Yahoo!'s ( YHOO) Flickr.

Google's Jackson told the Journal that connecting the service to Facebook in the future was "something to think about."

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