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Twitter and Facebook in Google’s crosshairs

Alex Christie

9 February 2010

Things have changed in the online world over the past two years. Normally Google has been the company that has made the waves and innovations, but when it comes to social media the company has really struggled to implement some solid strategies and match the success that they obtained in the search department.

So far Google have appeared to sit back and watch as Twitter and Facebook took a solid grip on one of the fastest growing sections in the online market. Yes, Google have shown an unprecedented sloth in a implementing a social media strategy…. but not for much longer.

According to information released by The Journal today, Google plans to introduce some interesting new features to Gmail in an attempt to take on Twitter and Facebook. They are looking to take advantage of the current power that they have in place in terms of Gmail’s current user base, and the fact that you can already update your status in Gmail.

The company will also integrate YouTube video and Picasa photo sharing into Gmail, The Journal reported, allowing users to share media much the way they do on Facebook. The social networking leader now boasts about 400 million users, while Gmail has “only” 176 million, so they are already a fair way behind.

This will however be no simple feat for Gmail as we have seen in the past with some of their other attempts at Social Media, such as Orkut. The platform had some success in Brazil, but, along with its FriendConnect widget, it failed rather miserably in the U.S.

It appears that this Gmail upgrade is the next step in their Social Media attack, after Google struck a deal with Twitter recently to incorporate real time status updates into its search results.

Will Google be able to challenge Twitter and Facebook? Will it finally be able to make some proper inroads into the Social Media market? I guess we have to wait until 6pm today to find out.

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