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Google recently entered the social networking universe, unveiling Google Buzz on Feb. 9, 2010. The network runs through Google’s popular Gmail service and allows users to update their status akin to Facebook or Twitter, post photos and link to members of their network. Comments on posts appear in real time and comments by other users will be weighted similar to how Google’s search engine weighs results.

But why sign up for yet another social networking site?  Well, Google Buzz is different. It serves as a way to meld social networks in an all-in-one location, pulling the user’s activity from sites such as Twitter, Flickr, and Picasa.  Buzz is partly designed to mimic Twitter’s micro-blogging structure. The service also features features  privacy settings like those on Facebook, making user content available only to friends, for example.

Google says Buzz will also be available to mobile devices, including the iPhone.  Features will include voice-recognition posting and a GPS-enabled ability to attach the user’s location to posts.  Other expansions will likely include enabling users to post to Twitter accounts through a Buzz tool.

According to CNN.com, it appears that Google would also like to displace AOL Instant Messenger from its hold as the leading instant messaging service now that the Gchat (aka Google Talk) feature on Gmail has attracted so many users.  Buzz plans to target those users is by offering the Buzz feature to companies as a tool for interoffice communication.  Google thinks their new program could globally businesses communication.

Google claims the new products are a respond to users’ interests. The company is taking a new approach by socializing the Web, meaning that searches will be as social as the Web itself according to Google’s instructional online video.  However, there will be limitations;  Facebook users whose profiles are private will not be viewable via Buzz.

It will be interesting to see how Google Wave will be integrated into all of this.  Keep a lookout for Google making news headlines as it continues its ambitious ways.


Joel B. Rothman represents clients in intellectual property infringement litigation involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, defamation, trade libel, unfair competition, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and commercial matters. Joel’s litigation practice also includes significant focus on electronic discovery issues such as e-discovery management and motion practice relating to e-discovery.