Google Tweaks Gmail to Combat Facebook, Twitter

Google has injected social networking features into Gmail as the world’s No. 1 search engine seeks to fend off competition from Facebook and Twitter.

Google introduced a new product dubbed Google Buzz that allows users to quickly share messages, Web links and photos with friends and colleagues directly within Gmail.

In addition to the Buzz features for Gmail, Google said it is launching a special mobile application for Buzz, as well as weaving Buzz technology into the mobile versions of its flagship Web site and its maps products.

Key Features

  • Automatic friends lists (friends are added automatically who you have emailed on Gmail)
  • “Rich fast sharing” combines sources like Picasa and Twitter into a single feed, and it includes full-sized photo browsing
  • Public and private sharing (swap between family and friends)
  • Inbox integration (instead of emailing you with updates, like Facebook might, Buzz features emails that update dynamically with all Buzz thread content)
  • “Recommended Buzz” puts friend-of-friend content into your stream, even if you’re not acquainted. Recommendations learn over time with your feedback.

Google Buzz has begun rolling out, and will continue slowly rolling out to users over the course of the next couple of days.

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