I remember the launch of Google Wave, a hyper-futuristic product from Google that launched with bells and whistles, made a lot of waves all around the web, remained a trending topic on Twitter for multiple weeks and did generate a lot of arguments among the tech fraternity.
For the first time, I saw anonymous folks begging a Wave invitation(It’s an Invite-only service till date) from me, solely for satisfying their curiosity for trying out Google Wave, all because of the surplus (probably non-deserving) hype around this sophisticated Google product. As it was perceived as a hyper-futuristic product, the curiosity for trying out atleast once, appeared justified as well.
And then, it all just died. All that hype vanished and just about everyone went silent.
Reason ? Google Wave failed to live up to the hype it created all over.
Why ? As the tech pundits rightly guessed, It arrived at the wrong time. It was just too forward, too sophisticated and too difficult for an average netizen to adapt to. Even an introductory video of Google Wave (Over 80 Mins) was lengthy enough to take you to sound sleep.
Now, if Google found it challenging to explain it to tech geeks, one can imagine the state of all those excited but average internet consumers.
Still, Google Wave isn’t doomed yet. It’s ON and still holds the key for Google to futuristic communication on the web. One must remember that Google Wave failed to persist mainly because of being futuristic and sophisticated, rather than inferior quality or useless.
Yesterday, we saw another product launch by Google, the Google Buzz.
Being honest, i felt disappointed with Google, launching another product with similar flavor and goals, as a different identity. I expected innovation, not repetition and overlapping with its own existing services.
In their own words,
“Google Buzz is a new way to start conversations about the things you find interesting […] an easy-to-use sharing experience…”
In my opinion,
Google Buzz is partly Orkut, partly Google Wave, built right into Gmail.
If Google buzz is about starting conversations, sharing photos, videos, commenting etc etc, its a Social network but then, Google is already running Orkut, an existent Social network powered by Google.
And if its about real-time commenting and sharing among gmail contacts, its a subset of Google Wave, a service that serves much more than real-time commenting, content sharing and similar stuff.
Another assertion of mine is that Google Buzz should have launched months before Google Wave, or Google Wave should have launched months after Google Buzz. As MG Siegler from TC has already done the efforts to describe my assertion, skeptics better go check that out as well.
Now that Google committed a mistake by launching Wave at the wrong time, Buzz could be the best possible contingency plan for Wave’s lifeguarding, if Google has to save Wave from fading away.
Google Buzz is easy-to-use, built right into Gmail and would most likely be appreciated and adapted by over 175 million gmail users and this would help Gmail users, making a smooth transition to Google Wave at some later stage.
This is purely an analytical assertion at the moment and the time can only tell if this is the chalked-out plan that Google has, in the back of its mind.
On the flip side, we strongly suspect that Orkut‘s fate would go in Danger Zone if Google Buzz hits the right chord. Since Google acquired Orkut, Orkut has miserably failed in expanding within U.S. and European continent and has been a non-profitable asset for Google since then.
For now, Google Buzz is bound to buzz up ubiquitously and our guess is that Google Buzz will sail through.