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.
Business Southampton is an independent, business led organisation which provides a valuable voice for business in the region, though initiatives such as their City Champions. We now look forward to being part of this and to helping promote and raise the profile of business in the city.
B&V Digital is a division of B&V Creative. Whilst we at B&V Digital are dedicated to providing cutting edge internet marketing services, B&V Creative is a full service marketing agency with a strong presence in Southampton having been based in the city since it was established in 1983.
live blog on Engadget, which was being updated a few times per minute with photos and important tidbits of information during the keynote address.
But with 60 days to wait until the iPad would hit the shelves, I've not been able to make an impulsive purchase yet... which has actually left me with some time to do some soul-searching: do I actually need this? What would I use it for?
I'm clearly not the only one wondering about the purpose of the iPad. There are many who feel it's nothing more than an oversized iPod Touch. Too small to replace a laptop, but too big to carry around.
One particular review caught my eye - that of habitual twitterer, Stephen Fry. He wrote on his blog:
There are many issues you could have with the iPad. No multitasking, still no Flash. No camera, no GPS. They all fall away the minute you use it. I cannot emphasise enough this point: “Hold your judgment until you’ve spent five minutes with it”. No YouTube film, no promotional video, no keynote address, no list of features can even hint at the extraordinary feeling you get from actually using and interacting with one of these magical objects. You know how everyone who has ever done Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? always says, “It’s not the same when you’re actually here. So different from when you’re sitting at home watching.”? You know how often you’ve heard that? Well, you’ll hear the same from anyone who’s handled an iPad. The moment you experience it in your hands you know this is class. This is a different order of experience. The speed, the responsiveness, the smooth glide of it, the richness and detail of the display, the heft in your hand, the rightness of the actions and gestures that you employ, untutored and instinctively, it’s not just a scaled up iPhone or a scaled-down multitouch enhanced laptop – it is a whole new kind of device. And it will change so much. Newspapers, magazines, literature, academic text books, brochures, fliers and pamphlets are going to be transformed.
Having read, watched, studied and considered all the various points of view, I think I've decided I do want an iPad - now that I know what I'd do with it. It would rarely leave the house... instead, it would sit on the coffee table in our living room, taking the place of books and magazines; it would be our internet browser of choice, email client, and word processing device. (It remains to be seen whether that will be using 'Pages' in Apple's iWork suite, or Google Documents... I'll let you know what we settle on!) It will fulfil a role that is currently being performed by several, less convenient media in my home. It has found its niche.
Having seen my Facebook status mentioning the device soon after the launch, a friend of mine told me how eager he was to buy one. However, when I tried to engage him in conversation about the iPad, it was clear that he knew absolutely nothing about it. Nothing. He hadn't seen, or read, anything about it since the announcement... only the hype during the build-up. He'd fallen hook, line and sinker for the Apple marketing machine and would have bought the thing on the spot. (And most likely, it would have become an expensive ornament.)
For me, the victory for Apple is not the iPad itself, but the genius marketing engine that drove the launch. The buzz leading up to the big announcement was quite astonishing... not days, not weeks, but months of speculation. The PR folks at 1 Infinity Loop, Cupertino, CA, certainly know how to capture the interest of their audience. We can all learn a lesson from that.
For advice about creating a buzz with your next product launch, give us a call on 023 8043 3348. B&V Digital has grown out of B&V Creative, a Southampton-based full service marketing and design agency with over 26 years’ experience in the business.
Blog ArchiveJuly 2009