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February 9, 2010

Google Buzz

Google has never managed to create a successful social network. Orkut's success is limited to Brazil and India, iGoogle's latest update was a let down and Google Friend Connect is still in its infancy.

In 2007, Gmail's code included some details about a feature that showed updates from your contacts. Google intended to create activity streams and share them with your friends. That feature wasn't ready to be launched, but Google unveiled the first piece of the puzzle: unified profiles.

Interestingly, in 2007 four ex-Googlers launched FriendFeed, a service that allowed you to share interesting pages with your friends and use them as the starting point for a meaningful conversation. FriendFeed was acquired by Facebook last year.


It took Google more than two years to launch a product for sharing and discussing ideas with your friends. It's called Google Buzz and it's integrated with many Google services, including Gmail and Google Maps.

"Buzz lets you share updates, photos, links, and pretty much anything else you'd like with your Gmail contacts; it's an easy way to follow your friends, too. When you click Buzz in your Gmail account, you'll see the stream of posts from people you're following, and a box for you to post your updates," explains a help article.

Much like FriendFeed, Google Buzz lets you import content from sites like Twitter, Flickr or Google Reader. You can follow interesting people, flag the items you like, add comments and get notifications in your inbox.


"There's a FriendFeed in my Gmail," commented Paul Buchheit, the ex-Googler who created Gmail and co-founded FriendFeed.

Google Buzz will be added to your Gmail account in the coming days, but Gmail is just one of the interfaces that will integrate Google Buzz. You can already try Google Buzz on your mobile phone by visiting buzz.google.com if you have an iPhone or an Android phone.


"We focused on making the sharing experience really rich by integrating photos, videos, and links. No more fuzzy little pictures: Buzz makes it easy to quickly flip through photos and experience them the way they were meant to be seen: big and full-resolution. And videos play inline so you can watch them without opening a new window. You can choose to share publicly with the world or privately to a small group of friends each time you post," informs Gmail's blog.



Update. Here's the launch event video:

39 comments:

  1. Buzz is only available for Android 2.0+
    HTC Hero is out

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  2. nice new inventions made by google then, and yes I will surely use it.

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  3. As I've said elsewhere, I think this is a clear signal that Google would prefer to pretend that Wave didn't happen. There is no good reason to develop and unveil Buzz when Wave is so largely unfinished and unused. I'd prefer Wave integration in Gmail before I need what sounds like a new Facebook/Twitter.

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  4. @Justin that's not true. I've got a Hero and i've got Buzz. Together with the latitude embebed on Google Maps app, it is also possible to update buzz.

    It was already there since day 1. I just didn't have a name...

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  5. Google is rolling out some pretty sweet tools and enhancements lately. If they upgraded the picasa web upload tool so I could upload multiple photos from my computer without using the downloadable picasa software that would be the last piece of the puzzle! Way to go Google!

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  6. Is there a way to enable this feature without waiting for the roll out?

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  7. I found it interesting that when you follow someone on Google Buzz, you also automatically subscribe yourself to their Google Reader shared items.

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  8. I love the look and feel of Buzz. Facebook is feeling too jumbled, and there's too much spam on the go.

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  9. So.. uh.. guess Wave is dead, huh.

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  10. I think Wave and Buzz are two totally different applications geared at two totally different demographics... I think people are just assuming too much.

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  11. Can't see the "Buzz" option on Gmail. :(

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  12. My android 1.6 g1 loaded google maps 4.0 which has buzz functionality.

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  13. Why Buzz? Wasnt Wave successful?

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  14. This is horrible! My Company, and many other I know, block all social networking sites. If they turn gmail into social networking, me and a lot of other people will lose access to gmail at work. This sucks!

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  15. Well, a lot of sites have social features, so I'm not sure that Buzz will transform Gmail into a social network. Even before Buzz was released, Gmail included a chat feature that allowed you to invite people and make social connections.

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  16. If you don't want to wait for the roll-out, you can try the steps in this article: How I activated Google Buzz.

    Could this be a hint at the low resolution photos from Facebook? :)
    "photos - experience them the way they were meant to be seen: big and full-resolution"

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  17. What about Blackberry? are we (BB users) have an app for BB OS ?

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  18. Buzz is only available for Android 2.0+, HTC Tatto and Hero are out. Only Google Nexus one can use, more detail on Google Nexus one @ blog.ytechcity.com

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  19. I'll give it a try... I just find sad how it got rolled-out: redirection to a webpage with a huuuge "Buzz" icon (vs. a tiny "no, thanks" link) + default privacy settings rather open... but I guess that's how you make applications popular :-P

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  20. Yes, you're sent to this page:

    https://mail.google.com/mail/buzz/intro.html

    "New! Google Buzz in Gmail
    Share updates, photos, videos, and more.
    Start conversations about the things you find interesting.

    No setup needed. You're already following the people you email and chat with the most in Gmail.

    Everything in one place. Follow your friends and get recommended buzz from others — all within Gmail.

    Inbox integration. Comments appear right in your inbox so it's
    easy to keep the conversation going."

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  21. I see no value to to this at all! I already "share" myself on Facebook and LinkedIn. That allows me access to everyone in the world who subscribes to these services and befriends me. Buzz limits me to other Google Buzz users. Why bother? This seems like a waste of time and something that the developers at Google got excited about. In truth, I don't see much use for it. It's another failed "fantasy" such as Wave and Latitude. Sigh.

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  22. I have linked Google Reader to the Buzz. Now when i share items through Reader, do they show up in Buzz? And if yes where? I don't see anything in Buzz except the messages that i and people i follow, have posted.

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  23. Yuck, give me a button to completely disable this option.
    I value my privacy and will share whatever I want whenever I want.

    Just wanted to read my mail and I get that stuff, instantly sharing my google reader and such with my mail contacts no thanks.

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  24. Being the poster above requesting the off button.
    It seems like I posted too soon.
    A simple google search (...) gave me my requested results.

    it turns out my browser extension was hiding the bottom bar that holds the button that disables buzz.

    The extension was Better Gmail, the "Hide Footer." option for people with the same 'problem'.
    https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/gmfocnipihcoejdieiimhiecclokidea?hl=en

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  25. I thought this was Google Reader Shared Items?! Now they come out with Buzz?! GRSI had one big bug - comments didn't thread (there was no discussion, all the comments were one-offs). Instead of "creating" Buzz why didn't they fix GRSI?

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  26. I just wish that Buzz didn't require you to make your real name available to the public on your google profile.

    what do other's think about this? shouldn't we be able to remain somewhat anonymous at least to the public?

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  27. Google Buzz became failed faster than how I expected.

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  28. @luke: what prevents you from changing your name in your google account? (you can still send email with your true name) + there is an option which allows you to hide you lastname (but the funny thing is it does not work properly => better change your name...)

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  29. People that don't want this.
    Be sure not only to turn it off but remove / block your followers first and remove all default shared sites.
    THEN disable it, if you don't those people would still see your (by default) picassa albums and google reader information

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  30. Even though they stole our name (hahaha) I think you are going to see a lot of Social Traffic Head this way. I can tell Facebook is already headed the same way Myspace was. The number of posts in any given day seems to be dropping and dropping. I'd say a quarter of all my Facebook updates are twitter driven anyway.

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  31. @Anonymous That's a great idea! My gmail name is the only place I'm interested in having my full name displayed anyways!

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  32. Google's New Buzz is a privacy nightmare...

    Basically any one you connect with via Buzz gets a full list and access to everyone you ever email or connect with using any of Google services, Facebook or Twitter if you have a public Google profile!!!

    Did you know any picture you upload creates and automatic Picasa account in your name and also a web album???? Your real name is made available even in your account uses an alias or a business identity
    Did you know that if you use buzz on your mobile device any other users nearby will be able to see your location... (oh great!!! perfect for women users having issues with stalkers!!!! Everyone in the area can be informed in real time exactly where you are... and get a google map and directions included!!!)
    Google Buzz also makes available all your Facebook interactions and friends and all your tweets and followers on Twitter! All of this is set up as soon as you click on the Buzz icon... without giving you the option of configuring initially...

    You can be putting yourself and your family and your job at risk... Don't just open a Buzz account without knowing that it opens access to and makes visible everything you email, post or Tweet along with that of everyone you connect with online!

    Seriously..... Don't use Buzz until Google gets a clue about online safety and privacy!

    Please Read this article before you use it...

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-31322_3-10451428-256.html

    and this one:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/warning-google-buzz-has-a-huge-privacy-flaw-2010-2
    and also read the fine print of Google's admitted Buzz privacy policy or rather "lack of privacy" policy.
    http://www.google.com/buzz/help/privacy.html
    Google Privacy Policy.

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  33. First I thinked : "Yes I can burry my FaceBook". But I realized that I also use my gmail account for business purpose. That's a serious matter as even if I check the tougher privacy settings, I'm sure one day, by mistake, I'll add someone not from my family or my friends and give him access to all my private life.

    Google is becoming the new evil company !!

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  34. Sync your posts from Facebook to Google Buzz. Now, you can update Facebook from Buzz and Buzz from Facebook


    Sync Facebook with Google Buzz

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  35. how to place html in the google buzz?
    is it supports html?

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  36. Would love if mouse-over a persons name shows their Google Avatar - that would be really cool to see who is engaged in the conversation.

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  37. Yeah its very true that google could not able to retain its supremacy in social networking sites also... i am a very loyal user for google for many years now...always prfer orkut, gmail & its search engine above other alternatives but feels bad when i see facebook & twitter are more popular than orkut. :-(

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  38. Goodbuzz is okay, but it's kind of dying now with Google+ :) Even though, I'm not a huge fan of Google+

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