Google Goes Social with Google Buzz
It’s official: Google has just announced Google Buzz, its newest push into the social media foray. This confirms earlier reports of Gmail integrating a social status feature.
On stage revealing the new product was Bradley Horowitz, Google’s vice president for product management. While introducing the product, Mr. Horowitz focused on the human penchant for sharing experiences and the social media phenomenon of wanting to share it in real time. These two key themes were core philosophies behind Google Buzz.
“It’s becoming harder and harder to find signal in the noise,” Bradley stated before introducing the product manager for Google Buzz, Todd Jackson.
Google Buzz: The Details
- Mr. Jackson introduced “a new way to communicate within Gmail.” It’s “an entire new world within Gmail.” Then he introduced the five key features that define Google Buzz:
- Key feature #1: Auto-following
- Key feature #2: Rich, fast sharing experience
- Key feature #3: Public and private sharing
- Key feature #4: Inbox integration
- Key feature #5: Just the good stuff
- Google then began the demo. Once you log into Gmail, you’ll be greeted wiht a splash page introducing Google Buzz.
- There is a tab right under the inbox, labeled “Buzz”
- It provides links to websites, content from around the web. Picasa, Twitter, Flickr and other sites are aggregated.
- It shows thumbnails when linked to photos from sites like Picasa and Flickr. Clicking on an image will blow up the images to almost the entire browser, making them easier to see.
- It uses the same keyboard shortcuts as Gmail. This makes sense. Hitting “R” allows you to comment/reply to a buzz post, for example.
- There are public and private settings for different posts. You can post updates to specific contact groups. This is a lot like Facebook friend lists.
- Google wants to make sure you don’t miss comments, so it has a system to send you an e-mail letting you know about updates. However, the e-mail will actually show you the Buzz you’ve created and all of the comments and images associated with it.
- Comments update in real time.
- @replies are supported, just like Twitter. If you @reply someone, it will send a buzz toward an individual’s inbox.
- Google Buzz has a “recommended” feature that will show buzzes from people you don’t follow if your friends are sharing or commenting on that person’s buzz. You can remove it or change this in settings.
- Google is now speaking about using algorithms to help filter conversations, as well as mobile devices related to Buzz.
The Mobile Aspect
- Google buzz will be accessible via mobile in three ways: from Google Mobile’s website, from Buzz.Google.com (iPhone and Android), and from Google Mobile Maps.
- Buzz knows wher you are. It will figure out what building you are and ask you if it’s right.
- Buzz has voice recognition and posts it right onto your buzz in real-time. It also geotags your buzz posts.
- Place pages integrate Buzz.
- In the mobile interface, you can click “nearby” and see what people are saying nearby. NIFTY, if I say so myself.
- You can layer Google Maps with Buzz. You can also associate pictures with buzz within Google Maps.
- Conversation bubbles will appear on your Google Maps. They are geotagged buzz posts, which lets you see what people are saying nearby.
- They just showed off a video for Buzz. We’ll have it up soon.
The Third Act
- Google’s philosophy on social is this: It wants buzz to be the paragon and poster child for creating a social destination in an open environment that adheres to open standards.
- It’s launching at 11:00 a.m. PT in its first wave.