Has Google Gone A Step Too Far By Forcing Buzz On Users?

I know Google desperately want people to use Google Buzz, but as Steven Hodson pointed out, growth of the network will always be limited by the fact that you have to have a Gmail account in order to use the service.

Google Buzz is a clever trap, but a trap all the same. It is the hunk of cheese to get more people using Gmail which in turn locks users into Google even more.

Google, in it’s attempts to ensure adoption have taken the kind of  step that hasn’t been seen since the Microsoft of the 90’s and actually forced all Gmail account holders into being users regardless of whether they want to or not.

As Mark Davidson said on Facebook earlier tonight:

I’m not sure why but I’m bothered by Buzz. I don’t like it, I don’t want it. But I have it. Sure I don’t have to us it. I think maybe it’s because for the first time, Google has forced a web tool on me. I’ve been using Gmail since 2004. If I love Gmail, and I do, I’m forced to have Buzz. I’m about 10 minutes away from …re-installing MS Office so I can use Gmail as a relay for Outlook again. You know what I like? Choice. That’s what got me using Google web tools in the first place. Today is the first day, I’ve ever viewed Google in the same light as I viewed Microsoft in the mid-nineties.

It’s this kind of move that could result in a temporary boost for Gmail and Googles other services, but as I’ve already seen tonight people are complaining about things like unremoveable messages in their inbox, and of course the pre-existing faults caused by Googles need to have a universal address book and not allow you to delete contacts from one Google service without deleting them on all.

This forced use could ultimately be detrimental to Gmail as users who don’t want an intrusive social network clogging up their inbox choose to go to less crowded and more traditional email systems. Yes, you can stop Buzz features from appearing in your inbox after the fact but once you are in, you’re in.

As I’ve said before, the right tool for the right job, and morphing Gmail into a full featured social network may stop it being a tool of productivity and turn it into another Facebook/Twitter timewaster.

Google Buzz is a clever trap, but a trap all the same. It is the hunk of cheese to get more people using GMail which in turn locks users into Google even more.

2 thoughts on “Has Google Gone A Step Too Far By Forcing Buzz On Users?”

  1. I don’t see how Google is forcing you to use Buzz. When you login to Gmail, it ask you if you want to use Buzz, you can just click the link that takes you straight to your inbox and that’s it. Now you never need to look at Buzz ever again.

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    1. Daryl, first 99% of users will click on the link just to see what buzz is. Second, try staying out of it. The fist time someone mentions you in a “buzz” it will appear in your inbox whether you like it or not. May not get the fance “Buzz style” view but you will get the email.

      Not to mention that Googles integration of Buzz into their services will, according to them, only get tighter. The two will eventually become nigh on inseparable.

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