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Just within the past 24 hours, Google released a new feature on its popular webmail service called Google Buzz. Their simple explanation: “Share updates, photos, videos, and more. Start conversations about the things you find interesting.” But I knew there was much more to Buzz than that.
Google Buzz is a social networking app within Gmail. It is only internal, since it doesn’t post to any non-Google sites, although users can get updates from Twitter (which is still kind of confusing to me.) What do my other friends say? Some say it’s a blog. I have to disagree with that, since the layout gives no indication of a blogging platform, but I can call it a microblog like Tumblr. Other friends say it’s like Twitter or Facebook. I agree with that, since most of my friends are using it for status updates and the like. One of my friends came up with the interesting proposal that Google Buzz is a digital web-based answering machine. I totally agree with that, it’s a lot like a continuous message board, and I could picture a family or organization using Buzz to plan out future events. I would say it’s a social networking platform, and since it resides in Gmail, I’m calling it Gwitter.
I absolutely love this new idea. It’s a very functional message board, and it’s not something huge like Twitter or Facebook. You can get updates from your friends and share more than just text. It resides somewhere in the continuum of real-time chat and blog posting.
Will this be the next big thing? I don’t think so, unless Google makes Buzz be able to post to other social networking sites or makes it public. However, doing either would defeat the uniqueness of Buzz, so I believe Buzz will be popular among Gmail users, but confined at the same time.
Buzz: the latest in brilliant ideas from Google.