Google Adding Social Networking Features To Gmail

02.10.10 | FL News Team

Google has launched a new product that promises to bring more social networking features to Gmail. Google Buzz allows users to post status updates and share messages, Web links and photos directly with other Gmail users without ever leaving the popular e-mail service. Google executives unveiled Google Buzz yesterday at the company's Mountain View, California headquarters. The move is seen as a way for Google to capitalize on a trend made popular by sites like Twitter and Facebook. It follows similar efforts by Yahoo and AOL. Google will spend the next few days making Buzz available to Gmail users. The company is also releasing special mobile applications to bring Google Buzz features to smartphones with Google's Android software, Windows Mobile or the Symbian operating system.

 Google executives say Buzz gives users the option to share their status messages only with certain people, while posts that are flagged as viewable to everyone automatically become available under Google's real-time search results. Users can share content from online Google services like YouTube and Picasa. Recent Twitter posts can also be shared through Buzz. However, it won't be able to show messages that came from Facebook, which is increasingly being seen as a Google competitor. Gmail is estimated to have more than 176-million users worldwide, making it the third most popular e-mail service behind Hotmail and Yahoo Mail.