SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Google's decision to start a social networking site called Buzz pits the Internet navigator directly against Facebook and Twitter, U.S. analysts are saying.
Like Facebook, the new service provides a way for users of Google's Gmail to share updates, photos and videos, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
"It's a direct challenge to Facebook, in particular," said Jeremiah Owyang, a social media analyst with the Altimeter Group.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin said by offering social communications, Google's Buzz can bridge the gap between work and leisure for its users.
"Bridging those two worlds is very powerful," Brin told a news conference Tuesday.
Google has also woven Buzz into mobile phones through a mobile Web site and a Google mapping application.
Facebook planned to announce Wednesday that it is improving its live chat service by integrating it into other services like AIM, AOL's instant messaging site.