With the foundations already in place thanks to Gmail, Google has launched a social networking function baptised Buzz, allowing users to follow their contacts activities not just through Google services but also on Twitter.
Google’s new social network has been officially unveiled. In the coming days, Google Buzz will be deployed to all Gmail accounts. In the left hand bar of the webmail, a link to Buzz will be present, just under the inbox link.
Google Buzz will automatically search for your most frequently used Gmail and Chat contacts so as to create a social network. Buzz will have the capability of learning so as to recommend messages for people who aren’t directly followed, but who are frequently named by other contacts.
The user will be able to sort through the different information made available, with it being possible to share status updates, photos, YouTube videos and links, with all of this information being directly integrated into the interface. To see this information you won’t have to leave Buzz (or to open a new window), as all updates will be made in real time allowing for messages and comments to appear instantaneously.
The information can be shared publically through the Google indexing engine, or privately with a small group of friends on a case by case basis (for each post). Besides YouTube, Picasa and Google Reader (news stream), Buzz can be connected to Yahoo! Flickr and Twitter. Tweets can be consulted in Buzz, but it won’t be possible to answer these for the time being, although this function will be looked at in the future. It has also been noticed that the world’s largest social network, Facebook, is missing.
You will find a video presentation of Google Buzz below:
With a lot of interest now being seen in localisation, Google Buzz will also be made available on mobile phones. Starting with Android and the iPhone, other platforms will then be added in the future.
By using the name Buzz for their service, we can help but think of Yahoo! Buzz where site content (web sites, Blogs...) is put to a community vote. For Yahoo!, it appears that Google is now following suite two years later.
Microsoft has certainly been critical of this new service, believing that "busy people don’t want another social network, but rather the convenience of aggregation. We have done this, with Hotmail clients benefitting from Microsoft’s work in bringing together 75 partners including Flickr, Facebook and Twitter since 2008".