Image by Vincent J. Brown via FlickrFunny how when a new communication tool is available, it's uncluttered and full of non-fake people and posts. It reminds me of Twitter back in 2007 or Facebook in 2005...Good ol' times! Hope it stands long for Google Buzz.
But I think that the good strategic move here is by not playing the "big-launch" game, Google is smart by letting Google Buzz be more like an "app" service to its already pretty large plateform (starting with Gmail, but who knows where it will stop: Blogger, wave, google maps, Reader etc...) instead of a new plateform (like all the other Twitter wanna-be that lost ground and had to change like Tumblr, or one from Northern-Europe that was bought by Google I while ago I think). It is just like an extension of the already wide services that Google offers and may lead to a seamless adoption of the service, while a big "tada" launch might have made people think too much about adopting or not the service.
It uses the already pretty wide user-base and delivers slightly a well differentiated approach (Porter would love to hear that!;) where the service mixes the "large spectrum" possibility of Twitter with the the narrow-tweaking of privacy and reach of Facebook, and with an added layer of media interaction that Twitter too often makes it hard (read more-clicks) to use even with all the tools that uses its api, it's still not for the average user who just want to share a couple of thoughts/advices/comments and links/pictures/video (I might look like bellow-average as I almost never use any picture/video/data sharing web services).
I think the two main challenges would be:
1. retaining the control on the user-experience without giving away the flexibilty brought by apis for added layers of web-services built upon Google Buzz without being a plain plateform very slow to move but that lets people do whatever they want with the api. Not in an Apple-Store-style-I-control-everything service, nor in a Windows-Mobile-free-for-all type (before Marketplace but even then...), perhaps more in the style of the Android plateform with a balance between control and freedom.
2. keeping the differentiation approach strategy, perhaps by keeping a more personal flavor to the service more in line with the 2005 Facebook's era, and giving a good control over the balance of private/public life.
What other challenges would they have, beside the obvious entry-barrier that Twitter and Facebook have set to the "personal-social-sharing" services?