Is this how the world ends for Facebook, not with a bang but a buzz?
Last week, Google (Stock Quote: GOOG) rolled out their version of a social networking tool called Buzz. Like Twitter, it allows users to follow one another and post updates on their lives (with no character limit.) Buzz also makes it easier for users to share content from existing Google features like photos (on their Picasa albums), videos (from YouTube) and interesting news they’ve read (through the Google Reader.)
When you add that all together – sharing photos, links, status updates – plus the fact that Google users have the option to build social profiles, it all starts to sound a lot like Facebook. In the lead up to the Buzz’s launch, many questioned whether this could be a “Facebook killer.” But this wasn’t the first time that Google was accused of stepping into Facebook’s territory. People said the same thing when Google started to allow users to build their own social profiles, and they said it about the launch of Google Wave.
Yet, few seem to recognize that Facebook is gunning for Google at least as much. TechCrunch recently revealed that Facebook is working on creating its own e-mail system. This will essentially overhaul the existing messaging system on Facebook and replace it with a tool that could rival Google. According to TechCrunch, “Internally it’s known as Project Titan. Or, unofficially and perhaps over-enthusiastically, the Gmail killer.”
As if that’s not enough, Facebook has partnered with Microsoft (Stock Quote: MSFT) so that anyone who uses the social networking site also ends up using Bing to search, rather than Google’s search engine. (It’s unclear just how much traffic this could siphon away from Google, but it’s obviously a big win for Microsoft.) And Facebook has just integrated its chat feature with AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), which will undoubtedly challenge Google’s existing chat feature.