Google is set to make another push into social media through their Gmail service. According to The Wall Street Journal, Gmail will be launching a new feature that allows users to share content and status updates with friends.
Google is set to announce the service at a launch event tomorrow with expectations that this revamped Gmail service will be similar to a Twitter updates stream that ties in with all of Google’s other properties such as Youtube and Picasa. No mention is made of Google’s existing social networking service Orkut, which despite struggling to find an audience in the English speaking parts of the world is the number one social network in India and parts of Latin America.
Google, by integrating an update streaming feature directly into Gmail will instantly convert the services nearly 50 million users into a live update stream that at launch, will rival the believed 75 million users of the Twitter community. This is the same kind of Trojan horse packaging of services that allowed Microsoft to usurp the then dominant ICQ instant messaging service as the largest instant messaging platform when Microsoft bundled MSN instant messaging with their popular Hotmail email service.
This is an interesting move by Google, though may only be an attempt by the search giant to capture more of the live-stream search data floating around, giving Google another bargaining chip when it comes time to renegotiate the terms of their $25million deal with Twitter to index their data for search.