Google Buzz allows you to make status updates and to share pictures and video with people who are in your Gmail contacts, as well as with others via a Twitter feed. Buzz also pulls in images from links that users want to share and you can flick through photos. It also connects to other services such as Picasa and Flickr and is available on mobile devices.
Once a conversation has started users can respond directly to other Gmail contacts by using the @ symbol, as you can do with Twitter and now Facebook. Updates are pushed though your Gmail inbox.
One major rethink has already been made as Google has stopped the auto-follow and auto-share features of Buzz, after privacy concerns about things such as Picasa albums automatically becoming visible to Gmail contacts. Just goes to show even Google can’t get everything right first time!
The best way to see what you think of the new service is to play around with it yourself, but failing that here is the official launch video
There is already a lot of discussion online about how good Buzz is, how useful it could be for personal and business use and if it is capable, or even aimed at rivaling Facebook of Twitter.
So far I’ve read differing opinions along the lines of:
- Facebook is too dominant for Buzz to challenge it
- Google is offering things that are already offered elsewhere
- Users need to be able to group business and personal contacts separately
- There are too many social media channels available for Buzz to make an impact
- Buzz is limited by only being available to Gmail contacts
Companies that have given social media some time and thought are reaping the benefits of having an enhanced dialogue with customers and there are ever increasing ways of doing this, of which Buzz is one.
However Buzz catches on, social media is now an essential marketing channel. If you want to find out more about how to make the most of it, please get in touch.
Blog ArchiveJuly 2009