Facebook Must Tell Google to Buzz-Off (Or Else)
To protect itself from Google, Facebook content must never appear in any form as part of any Google product. Not ever, and Facebook should make the announcement today. (You can see our visual tour of Google Buzz here).
Here's why: If Google Buzz is ever connected to Facebook, it will be the beginning of the end for today's #1 social network.
As a Facebook user, the last thing I need in my life is another social networking service. I have lots of friends--business and personal--on Facebook. It plays an important role in my home and work life. What I don't need is for my friends to start dividing themselves into Facebook users and Buzz users.
I want all my friends on just one service.
Just as Google, Amazon, and eBay have become dominant in their markets, almost to the exclusion of all competitors, Facebook has become America's social network. We do not need another one and Google will someday regret trying.
Google is simply too late to the game and given its failed history in social networks--Orkut, anyone?--there is little reason to predict success beyond the power of Google's name.
For Buzz to succeed, it needs Facebook content. By denying it, Facebook can help secure its future and help wall off Google.
Given Google's modus operandi, Buzz will manage to somehow strip revenue from any social network that it allows it to connect. Eventually there will be just Google. Don't believe me? Sit back and watch.
Facebook must act now to stop this. It should never allow Buzz to aggregate Facebook content or send updates to Facebook users. If Facebook does this today, nobody will notice and not much of a stink will be raised.
There is no demand, at the moment, from Buzz users to connect to Facebook. Over time, however, demand will develop if Facebook doesn't take steps now to prevent it.
Facebook does not need Gmail as a client to attract and support users. And I don't need an e-mail service to divide my friends into Gmail users and everyone else.
So, if you are looking for me, I'll make it easy: I'll be on Facebook and not on Google Buzz. You'll thank me for not complicating your life.
(OK, if you can't wait to see Google Buzz and don't have it yet, here's how to cut in line).