TECHNOLOGY The Buzz about Google’s ‘new’ idea

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A screenshot of Google Buzz

The Buzz about Google’s “new” idea

Fergus Kelly

The growth of social networking sites has been explosive – and Google has got in on the action. Yesterday, the ubiquitous search engine started to roll out a new service, Google Buzz. I think it’s likely to fit somewhere in the social space of Twitter and Facebook.

Buzz sits below the inbox in your Gmail account and allows users to share information, photographs, videos and more – and read about what is happening around them through their mobile phones. Like the incredibly similar FriendFeed, Buzz can bring together different social streams including Twitter, Flickr, Picasa and YouTube. These are all pulled into a single stream from your Gmail contacts.
However, the reverse is not true - you can’t publish to Twitter using Buzz. This could be a major problem for Google in terms of early adoption. A bigger issue still is the complete lack of Facebook integration, though this could be explained by the recent discovery that Facebook intends to offer an email service to its 400 million users – an intention that could be seen as an aggressive bid for email users.
Google Buzz for Mobile (which is as far as I’ve got - they haven’t rolled out Buzz to all Gmail desktop accounts yet, but the mobile service is available to all users) is probably an attempt to catch up with Foursquare - location is central to the mobile experience. Updates can be tagged and browsed by location. This will give Google a vast amount of very useful and potentially lucrative location data.

We’ll update you on this story as we get more.

Some links to current information
The Guardian
The Telegraph
Mashable: Reactions
Mashable: Buzz for Mobile

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