Yesterday we reported that Facebook was taking a tiny slice of Google’s pie by adding a webmail feature. Today, it looks like Big G is taking that slice back by adding status updates to Gmail.
According to The New York Times, Google is slated to announce some social add-ons this week (possibly today). It’s rumored that the new features will allow Gmail users to post short status updates about whatever's on their minds.
Though Google already allows users to post status messages via their chat service, this week’s addition is aimed at a larger audience--much like the way status messages were once the driving force behind Facebook's popularity, or Twitter's entire method of operation.
WHEN WILL IT END?
The addition is yet another move in the social direction by Google, which already has a social network called Orkut, a profile service and, most recently, a social search function which allows users to search terms within their Gmail friends' connected media (Twitter, Yelp, Facebook, etc.)
Unfortunately, these moves have done little to grab the kind of social attention Google is seemingly looking for. Will the addition of status updates do the trick?
Meanwhile, Facebook is holding its own. Last week it was announced that the popular platform is working on a full-blown webmail client to replace its current messaging service. The client -- codenamed Project Titan -- will work to keep users under the Facebook umbrella for all their daily activities, while Big G's status move will work to do the same for Google.
“It might look like a minor feature advance, but this is another blow in the war against Facebook,” said Jeremiah Owyang, a partner at Altimeter Group, a technology consulting company.