Makes sharing, commenting and getting updates in real-time easier on PC, mobile phones
Google has finally launched its new social product, Buzz, at an event held at its Mountain View, CA headquarters. Google Buzz is an easy way to start conversations, share updates, photos, videos, add comments and much more - right from a Gmail account. The updates, which are often termed as 'Buzz', are available in real-time to the users right in their Gmail Inbox.
Head to http://buzz.google.com and check if it is being made available to you from your PC or iPhone/Android browser. Yes, Google Buzz has also been rolled out for iPhone and Android platform, leaving the rest mobile platforms behind for the time being. Buzz is free from any sign-up or setup hassles.
Google Buzz is being heavily compared with Facebook acquired FriendFeed service that allows posting, sharing and viewing photos, videos and commenting within the stream of updates. If you can recollect, two years back, Yahoo had introduced a service named - Buzz, which is mostly a social news service that collates user-select content from the web and ranks it on basis of popularity.
Do note that Buzz doesn't have any character limitation like Twitter. However, that doesn't mean one can paste stories and lengthy blog posts just for heck of sharing.
Here are the key features of Google Buzz:
Gmail Inbox Integration: It will take place without pushing update emails to Inbox mail as the updates will be dynamically updated in real-time to form threaded Buzz conversations. Also, all basic keyboard shortcuts for Gmail work for Buzz as well. It's obviously visible that Google is counting on those billions of Gmail users who'll wish to try out Buzz.. But why mix social pleasure with mails? Whether Google should have included Buzz to Gmail or not is going to be a pro-longed debate. Many would like to keep their serious mailing stuff separate from social conversations. However, getting an all-in-one-time access is nothing new. It's being developed previously like the Adobe Air apps that offer support for multiple account login to share content socially.
Automatic Friends Lists: Based on the contacts you frequently mail and chat with, Buzz will automatically make names appear in your Buzz stream. Buzz will also give you a list of "Recommended Buzz" users that will based on 'friend-of-friend' content sharing into your stream - even if those folks aren't acquainted to the user.
This may raise a question of privacy. For instance, Adam is a popular guy and is on Becky's list and wishes to share updates only with Becky's friends. But what if a contact of Sam who is on Becky's is recommended to connect with Adam? Also it's kinda unsure whether the email address could be held as private from the connected 'friend-of-friend'.
Richer, Faster Sharing Experience: In Buzz, Google focuses on one of the most crucial aspects in social arena today - real-time sharing and updates. Buzz allows importing feeds from Twitter, Picasa, Flickr and Google Reader to stay updated with the contacts on those services. Photos from Flickr and Picasa would appear as thumbnail and clicking on thumbnail will give an overlay interface based full view of the image. The posts and comments on the posts get updated in real-time and one doesn't have to refresh the page. Note that real-time update may not be supported in all web browsers and may cause freezing issues with them abruptly.
Public and Private Sharing: An option of public and private sharing of updates is offered. So, one has a choice to make update publicly viewable or only for private network of friends and family. Public updates to Google Profiles of the user and the contacts who follow them. Private updates can be shared across the private network that could be setup. Note that public updates will be visible on the user's Google Profile and will eventually show up in Google Search. So, be careful what information you share in the Buzz. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT share personal information in the Buzz. Be afraid, be very afraid.
If you're still clueless about how exactly Buzz works then check out its official video.