Published on February 19th, 2010 | by Saurabh Pandey0
Google Buzz- Is there a hidden agenda?
Now that Google has lucnhed Google Buzz, the scene is ripe for other players to get inspired.
What happens if Yahoo also launches a social platform around it’s email service integrated with flickr?
Better still: What happens if Microsoft launches a social platform around outlook email application?
But before we delve further on the above questions, let’s understand that Google already has an orkut and a wave and yet it launched Buzz (despite it’s partnership with Twitter)
Google believes that the centre of communication is email- and hence it’s easy to build a social platform on top of an email service. This may be challenging, as the centre or core of communication has now shifted (from emails) to twitter and facebook (social platform). In other words the communication core in now more real-time than ever. (Which also opens another topic of discussion- Mobile Strategy for Buzz will define the way forward!)
If you noticed, Google Buzz has already opened itself up by integrating Flickr, Picassa and twitter among other apps.So, the game has just begun, and may take a very different turn in future. There is a reason why I say this:
At an early stage , a few years back, Google added Maps as an important element in it’s overall strategy, and licensed data from TeleAtlas and NavTeq. This was not strange, since these two players dominated the market and virtually everyone licensed data from them.
Seeing a major opportunity in Mapping Business, Nokia and ToTom acquired TeleAtlas and NavTeq for USD 2.7B and USD 8.1b respectively.
Google in the meantime wanted ‘more’liberty in terms of usage of maps data, which was declined by NavTeq (and hence Google dropped NavTeq) and continued to work with TeleAtlas with modified terms). This happened in 2008, but Google was already upto something. Google was quitely building it’s own mapping system, and was creating a ‘streetview’ and turn-by-turn maps. Google did this by using Freely available data and combined it with it’s own data
And very soon, Google walked out of TeleAtlas too!
Two of the biggest Mapping giants today are without their biggest partner, lost a
huge chunk of revenue and influence opportunity. Google, that was once dependent on them, today has disrupted that market.
The fact is, anyone can have maps data-but the turn-by-turn data was difficult to get-which Google
built on it’s own, and didn’t stop here- Google is now providing this FREE in it’s android phones
and to various service providers across the world, including as an OEM to car manufacturers!
Look at how the market which was controlled by 2 major players got disrupted in just 1 year!
The scene is similar now- Social Networking scene is dominated by Facebook and Twitter. Google is trying to partner with both of them -for real time search. And quitely announces Buzz (which is very similar to twitter, and so far has no integration with Facebook)
Google is also quietly buying companies around emails , adserving and what have you. Google’s mobile strategy is already giving jitters to iphone.
Can we see a similar disruption (that we saw in maps) in less than a year from now?
Coming back to the first question:
What happens if Microsoft Outlook becomes a PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING PLATFORM?
It can instantly connect all professionals who do business together, and also add some prediction technology so that service providers know when to pitch for which product to which person.
Data can be mined, and passed on to different divisions withina company which may have an opportunity to sell soemthing to an existing contact ina different division.
Can this beat Linkedin? (Outlook already has a linkedin integration though)
We surely are in a state of flux today, with so much development around- it’s difficult to say who has a hidden agenda. Keep watching though!
(An interesting read on Google Maps strategy-discussed above at http://www.abovethecrowd.com)