After fumbling with the Gwave and Orkut,  Google on Tuesday 9th February announced the launch of their new product, Google Buzz. The  product aims to compete with facebook on the social media scene as it intergrates status updates and photo and video sharing. It will be available on Mobile with Google Buzz for business to follow.

The tagline according to blog post on Google Buzz is “a Google approach to sharing.” This is probably Google’s boldest effort yet to get social. It is taking on Facebook and Twitter as well as start-ups such as Foursquare .

The new service has five features;

  • You will automatically follow the people you e-mail and chat with on a regular basis.
  • You will be able to share content from around the Web, including YouTube videos, Flickr photos, site links and other materials.
  • You will be able to share your thoughts in a public way and in a private way.
  • You will get social updates in your inbox.
  • Google will help you find only the stuff that matters by recommending popular content.

The mobile version of Buzz can figure out where you are, like Google Latitude, and show you nearby buzz posts.

This comes after last month it introducing a new feature that displays search results related to their friends and other members of their social networks. Google, for sure, has been trying for years to gain a foothold in social networking as its smaller competitors beat it to the game. Orkut, its social networking service, gained a very good following in Brazil and India and nowhere else. Attempts to buy its way into social networking also failed, when Google acquiring the services offered by Twitter competitor Jaiku and Foursquare forebearer Dodgeball.

Facebook is so much of people’s central life that Mark Zuckerberg is looking to capitalise on that. Its reportedly launching a Webmail soon which analysts claims might be its undoing. But lets watch the game. Its getting interesting. Kenya has close to 600,000 users on facebook whih is a fifth of the total internet population. Thats a great room for growth. Facebook also reported that it reached the 400 million user mark.

Google is still the Web’s No. 1 most-visited site, with 173 million U.S. visitors in December, according to ComScore Media Metrix. But Facebook is gaining. Facebook was the fourth-most visited site in December, with 111.8 million visitors. According to Oreilly Research, facebook penetration in Africa is still at less than 10%.