Gmail Going Social, Twitter-style?

Gmail Going Social, Twitter-style?

google gmail twitterIf the rumors are to be believed, Google's Gmail is getting a Twitter-like status update feed as early as this week. Here's the scoop.

The short-burst update format is exemplified by Twitter, but Facebook has had status updates for years, and even Yahoo! Mail added a similar feature last year. These updates enable users to keep in touch with friends and share web content, often with just a click.

Social networking wouldn't be that big a jump for Google -- between YouTube, Picasa, and Google Apps, they certainly offer enough content in-house such that a one-click "share this on Gmail" button would give this hypothetical service a huge head start on its rivals. And as an avid Google Talk user, I can tell you that many people already use the status and away message options to chronicle their life, so the adjustment period would be small.

Since this service isn't yet official (and may never be), there's no information on whether or not this functionality would be included in Google Apps Enterprise Edition for resellers, but from where I'm standing that would be a no-brainer. The success of startups like Socialwok prove that there is a market for social aspects laid on Google's productivity applications.

As someone with accounts on every Web 2.0 "people platform" out there, my only question is the one I always have when I think about the enterprise and social networking: is it useful? Or is it just another way for companies to spend a lot of money to enable employees to waste a lot of time?

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