What’s all the Buzz about Google Buzz?
On February 9, Google released Buzz to the masses. If you have a Gmail account, you’ve probably seen a splash page about Buzz in the past couple of days. We turned on Buzz for our Indiana Tourism account a few days ago and here’s a rundown of what Buzz can do for you.
- Buzz can be used as an aggregator for your Google-owned social media accounts (Google Reader — check out this post and this one for more on RSS and Google Reader –, YouTube, Blogger, Picasa) as well as a few others (Twitter, Flickr & FriendFeed).
- Buzz automatically suggests people you should follow. This list is culled from the people you email most often.
- Underneath your Inbox button in Gmail, a Buzz button appears. This allows you to view all recently Buzzed items.
- Buzz intelligently selects the most interesting buzzes for you to view. You can always click on the Buzz button to see all recent buzzes, but you’ll be notified when an interesting piece appears.
There are a few things that Google needs to do to improve Buzz, but since it just launched last week, Google is bound to do what they need to do to make Buzz more usable. Here are a few things Buzz is missing.
- Integration with Facebook – As the most popular social networking site in the world, Google really needs to add Facebook soon. Ironically enough, Facebook owns Friendfeed, which is currently supported by Google Buzz.
- Buzz posts should also feed out to accounts that are hooked up to it (Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, etc) rather than just pulling the posts into Buzz.
- Allow users to filter and view only the Buzzes they want to see.
- Just like Facebook allows you to view updates in specific groups, Buzz should allow this. There are sometimes you just don’t want to see every one of someone’s Foursquare updates.
In short, with some work and slight tweaks, Google Buzz has the potential to radically change the way social media is consumed. By building Buzz right into Gmail, Google was able to ensure its immediate adoption by millions of people, unlike Google’s much hyped but less loved Wave, which launched in the Fall of ’09. Wave turned out to be much more complicated and much less thought-out than Buzz seems to be, on top of the fact that you needed a separate login to Google Wave, which reduces the number of users drastically.
Here’s a quick video from Google all about Buzz.
Have you used Buzz yet? Check our Indiana Tourism on buzz: Visit Indiana