Google Launches Buzz, Targets Twitter and Facebook
Gmail integration is at the core of the product, but where Buzz distinguishes itself from Twitter and Facebook is its strong focus on location. The aforementioned mobile apps will offer ways to share your media and location via GPS, a capability that, Google claims, will cut through the clutter so prevalent on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Buzz focuses on the exchange of content, building on Twitter's simple retweet and @reply features. In other words, as you share content on Twitter, flickr, Picasa, Google Reader and what-have-you, you'll be able to scroll through and view your friend's responses to your photos, videos, and more. Your personal Buzz page will live on Google's Profiles, which should function like a more media-rich Twitter profile page.
Google highlighted five key features of Buzz at the event this morning:
- Easy friends lists: on setup, Buzz automatically adds your friends and family based off of your contacts in Gmail
- Sharing: as mentioned above, Buzz incorporates Twitter, flickr, and information and media from other sites you use (note: no Facebook integration yet)
- Public and private settings: security and privacy in mind, Google lets you post to the entire world or just to a small, private group
- Inbox integration: select notes (for example, a reply to a photo you've posted) will appear in your Gmail inbox
- Recommended buzz: Google's recommendation engine will suggest information that it 'thinks' will be relevant and interesting for you.
The mobile homepage should work on most mobile Web-browsing platforms, buzz.google.com will work on Android phones and the iPhone, and the updated Google Maps app will appear on Android, Windows Mobile, and Nokia's S60. Instead of tying your location to simple latitude and longitude coordinates, Buzz will attempt to tie it to nearby, recognizable real-world locations (e.g. addresses, businesses, restaurants). If shared publicly, these geo-tagged messages will be browsable via the newly updated Google Maps apps.
Finally, Google announced it will be adding Buzz to Google Apps eventually, adding this kind of sharing and conversation functionality for business users. Look below for the official Google videos for Buzz and Buzz for Mobile, and keep checking back for more hands-on once Buzz is fully rolled out!