Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Google Buzz – Strategy that failed to buzz

While reading the article about failed strategies and the reasons behind it, I wondered why Google Buzz failed terribly. Google Buzz seems like the biggest mistake made by the search engine giant and will cost it both in customer confidence and revenues. Google tried to piggyback it into Gmail accounts and still nobody uses it. One of the reasons of people not using it was Google’s late arrival in this arena. Twitter had already made its space and people started microblogging on it. It is very unlikely that people would take out the time and effort to use Twitter and Buzz. Not only Google made a late arrival it also made a horrible start by piggybacking its application.

After digging into the user reviews available on various websites I realized that there were various other factors behind the big fall. People were unhappy about the social graph created by Buzz as customized privacy is the need of the hour. They don’t want their office colleagues to know what their friends posted to them. Another thing was a poor interface as compared to Twitter or Facebook. Google simply did not understand that user interface is as important as algorithms to attract users. The Google users were facing another big privacy issue due to Buzz and various complaints were made against it. The complaints were upheld by the Federal Trade Commission, leading Google to undergo a privacy review once every two years for the next 20 years.

Google’s strategy failed in the following ways to make Buzz a buzzing success:

1) Pseudo Adjacencies – Google tried to expand into the microblogging business by selling Buzz to its existing customers which proved to be ill efficient. Google did not realize the importance of privacy while integrating Buzz with Gmail.

2) Stubbornly staying the course or late arrival in the market. It failed to identify the proper timing of entering the market.

3) Failed to identify the needs of the user in terms of user interface.

Will Google be more cautious in coming out with new applications after the Buzz failure??

Should Google stop tracking searches and other data of its users ??

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