There’s been quite a bit of buzz about Google Buzz since the rollout this week. Terrible puns aside, we’re always curious to try out the latest, and possibly greatest tech toys and social media tools. Google Buzz is no exception, and we couldn’t wait to get our grubby mouse pointer all over it.
Because we’re special, important and extremely good looking, The Blog Studio team noticed Buzz pop-up in our Gmail accounts late Tuesday afternoon, so we’ve had a bit of time to take it for a test drive. The easiest way to explain Buzz, which I’m sure Google will hate, is that it’s a built in Twitter for your Gmail account. It also offers quite a bit of integration with many social media platforms, bringing them all into one easy to manage place. Buzz offers you the option to follow and be followed by the people you Gmail with. While this isn’t anything special, it is nice to use a new service that you don’t have to invite your friends to. If you’re a heavy Gmail user, your contacts are already in place. You don’t have to chase down your contacts and convince them to sign up for something new. It’s been a while since we’ve experienced that luxury.
You’ll notice a multi-colored balloon under the inbox icon in your Gmail account, which is the Buzz button. When you click the button, you’re brought to a screen that is aesthetically familiar to most Google users. You’re offered the option to use your Google Public Profile as your Buzz profile, or you can create a new one. Next, you’ll see your photo icon, with a comic book like speech bubble coming out of it. This is where the action happens.
You can type a random thought snippet, similar to Twitter, or post a picture, video, or a link. You have the option of sharing this information publicly, with your followers, or keeping it completely private. The interface is nice, and it definitely has that Gmail snappiness to it. It feels very solid right out of the gate.
Look down the page a little farther, and things start to get interesting. You’re given the option to connect other social media sites you participate in. This very simple interface allows you to link up your YouTube, Blogger, Flickr, Google Reader and even…your Twitter account to Buzz. It works like a charm. I imagine over time, Google will begin to offer support for more and more services as the number of Buzz users increases. Whenever you update one of your other social media sites, your buzz followers will see that update in their stream. It’s a social media catch all. There’s a mobile, location based sharing feature as well with features similar to Foursquare.
Google has managed to bring your entire online life into one place, with no hassle and no fuss. It’s just there. It’s like Friend Feed on steroids with great UI. You can comment on the updates of the people you follow, ‘Like’ their updates a la Facebook, or email that person, all from the same screen. In the short time we’ve been playing with Buzz, we can already say it’s extremely convenient. If you spend a lot of time in Gmail as it is, you now have access to all of your other social media networks right from your inbox. That’s a timesaver as well as a powerful sharing tool.
We haven’t really scratched the surface of all the features and potential uses for Buzz. Hey, it’s only been 48 hours, give us a chance! It’s too early to make any predictions, but we’re betting Buzz is hugely popular in the very near future. With so many built in Gmail users, and the simple to understand interface, Buzz may be what brings microblogging to the masses. We will say this: for hardcore social media geeks, Buzz is a convenient way to ride herd on all the accounts you have. What does everyone else think so far? Leave us a comment and let’s discuss.
More at: http://www.theblogstudio.com/single/google_buzz_first_look/