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Will Google Buzz change the face of social engagement?

2 min read

Social Media

Yesterday, I wrote about my dream of a unified social platform that’s as versatile and intuitive as e-mail. Google Buzz doesn’t appear to be that platform (full disclosure: I don’t have access yet, I’m reacting to the coverage of others), but it does have several intriguing features.

Google Buzz makes a few tentative steps toward integrating social networks — you can link it to Twitter,¬† for example, but the information doesn’t travel both ways. But the real meat of Google Buzz comes from its attempts at filtering out irrelevant information.

We’re all at least a little bogged down with social connections we don’t really care about — and even our most important contacts sometimes say irrelevant things. A filter to handle that chatter could be useful — provided it’s as smart as, say, the new Netflix recommendation engine instead of being as infuriatingly random as Facebook’s News Feed can be.

Filters like this are only going to become smarter and more prevalent. This poses an interesting problem for marketers. It’s not going to be good enough to get someone to follow your company’s account on a network — you’ll have to be relevant enough to be included in the smaller pool of messages they actually see. It’s the difference between getting someone’s attention for an instant and forming an engaged relationship. Yes, there will be social-optimization tools and experts to help improve your campaign’s yield. But on a certain level, you’ll have to make users actually care if you want to be in their inner circle. It wouldn’t surprise me if that innovation ended up being what Google Buzz was remembered for.

Were you impressed by Google Buzz? Will it change the face of social engagement? What does Google need to do to make it a truly vital social platform?

Image credit, dlerick , via iStock