In what is fast becoming the year of ‘big announcements’ from the major players, Google have unveiled their newest foray in to ‘the social space’ tonight. The launch of ‘Google Buzz’ was announced by Google at 10am west-coast-time, and has so far been met with mixed reactions – as most of these things seem to…
In a nutshell, Google Buzz is an extension to Gmail, allowing what Google are touting as full integration to all your social spaces, without ever having to leave the comforts of Gmail.
One of the nice things about this announcement, unlike some of Google’s recent launches, and particularly the Apple iPad, is that you can try it out straight away – just head over to http://buzz.google.com/ and login using your normal Google details. Well, supposedly at least – I haven’t managed to get it to work yet. But I’ll give them a few hours…
The best overview of the features I’ve seen so far can be found over at Mashable, but a basic list of the features would include:
- Aggregate content from all your favourite social sites, from Picassa and Flickr to Twitter. So THAT’S why Google bought Friendfeed…!
- You can post updates to groups of people, in the same way that Facebook lists works
- It’s naturally integrated completely with your Gmail contacts list
- It can be accessed by phone and PC
- You can set up alerts to notify you of changes to conversations
- Classic Twitter @replies are facilitated
- The mobile version uses GPS to find out where you are, telling you when friends are nearby
- Voice recognition is built in (one of the coolest features, in my humble opinion
The obvious benefit to aggregating all your social content in one place is that Google can show their adverts in the space, and you don’t have to be bothered by other site’s pesky adverts…! A clever move by Google, though not one unique to them, to be fair.
There was also a notable absense of mentions for Google’s supposed poster child from 2009, Google Wave. Could it be that Google, like a lot of people, have tired of touting Wave as the next big thing already? Surely the integration would be hyped up a lot more if Google felt Wave was a strong offering at this point?
We’ll give you a more thorough review of Buzz when we’ve had a chance to really use it. If you’ve got access to it, let us know what you think in the comments below