Google is trying to play its "one up" in search engine land.
Using the setup, shown on the left, users never need to move from place A to place B in order to update their status messages, check if there are responses to earlier ones, see if new photos have been uploaded, etc. etc.
Entries can be customized and include favorite social destinations such as Flickr and Facebook " and since this week also Twitter.
Yahoo has also indicated it will add Twitter content to more of its properties, including search.
Yahoo hasn't been so successful with its own social projects. Yahoo Buzz and Yahoo 360 are examples of projects that haven't exploded into the public space.
Yahoo's strategy is clearly aimed at encapsulating competing properties.
Google: Me Too! Me Too!
Although the deal to index Facebook pages (not user profiles) was made way back in December 2009, the integration of real-time status updates from Facebook pages (not user profiles) was announced to go live hours after Yahoo's statement.
It's become more or less a common, predictable and indeed somewhat tiring strategy of Google to "one up" announcements from its competitors. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.
This time it doesn't because it's so clear the emperor is wearing no clothes: it's a rehash of old news which was received in a "well if that's all" manner even back then.
Microsoft Bing Big Winner In Social
Microsoft is beating Google in social every step of the way.
Microsoft has complete access to Facebook. Google got pages only.
Microsoft had complete access to Twitter when Google was still showing stale results for breaking news covered live on social networks.
In essence, Bing is where Google wants to be.
With Bing leading the way, both Bing and Yahoo swallowed their pride and started to work on deep integration of what essentially are competing networks: Facebook and Twitter.
Google trailed, apparently thinking it could go it alone based on its sheer size. Instead it saw its projects fail; from bought social projects (Dogdeball, Jaiku) which were killed off, to being unable to get any kind of mainstream excitement going with in-house social projects such as Google Shared, Google Reader social functions, Google Wave, Google Chat and recently Google Buzz.
As a result, Google is the last one joining the party and, so far, is getting the short end of the deal.
Facebook shows people go where their contacts are. Google might have to follow instead of trying to lead.