FYI: I started writing this before the Google announcement today and am writing it as I watch it live and as a product GBuzz looks great.
Google doesn’t want to build, nor is it trying to build a “twitter killer”. What Google wants is your information in order to better target advertising.
Every time you send an email, update your status, chat on Goggle Talk, share an item on Google Reader, post a video to YouTube or a picture to Picasa, Google gets a little bit more information about you that it can use to better tune the advertising you see in the hope that you will click on one of those ads.
Information like your status updates disappear as soon as they are used but by offering timelines where you can see the status updates of your friends Google can keep you on in their service a little longer and in front of their advertising a little longer.
By associating Facebook and Twitter id’s with your Gmail contacts Google learns a little more about both you and your contacts. They have already announced that you will be able to import RSS streams from other services, connect with twitter, and there was a hint of facebook connect. It was driven home that the platform will be made as open as possible and noted that if you tweet and it gets imported into GBuzz then it could end up on somebody elses recommended list.
GBuzz is shaping up to be a wonderful looking social experience, but it boils down to being a content gathering service. It will allow you to pump information into Google from all your other services, consume information there and ultimately spend more time in from of Google advertisements while providing it with the information necessary to fine tune those advertisements to you and your friends.
At the end of the day it all boils do to gathering more information about you in order to target advertising. They don’t need to build a Twitter killer. Twitter and Facebook already do a great job creating the information that Google wants.
What they have built however, is a marvelous looking social experience for those people who already use Gmail and Googles mobile services and given them the means to pour information about themselves and others into Googles servers.