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Gmail Gets Social With Buzz, Facebook To Add Chat

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA (Hypebot) – Sometime over the coming week's you'll see a new Buzz tab appear on your Gmail page as Google rolls out its latest efforts to get social. Unlike Google WAVE, which does so many things that it makes your head spin, Buzz is dead simple.

Buzz creates an instant circle of friends based on who you communicated with via Gmail and Google's chat client. Much like on Facebook users can post status updates including text, photos from Google’s Picasa and Yahoo’s Flickr; YouTube videos; and Twitter messages.

Will Google Buzz fly? Do people need yet another way to connect? Gmail has 176 million active users, so while wide Buzz adoption is far from certain; it's seldom smart to bet against Google.

Facebook has expansion plans too.

On Wednesday, Facebook is expected to announce that it is expanding live chat features for its 400 million users by allowing integration with other services like AOL's hugely popular instant messaging client. Facebook is also reported to be working on its own email solution.

The combined moves of both companies put them on a collision course as they vie for users. For fans and marketers, the result should be better and more integrated services.