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Will Google Buzz Find Mainstream Appeal?

Google Making Moves to Make Buzz More Useful

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Google is starting to make some significant moves that may give Google Buzz a significant boost. For example, this week, a "Reshare" button was announced. This is essentially Google’s version of the retweet. If you follow a Buzz user who posts an interesting update, you can hit the "reshare" button (down with the comment, like, and email buttons) to repost that post to your own Buzz stream.

Will new features fuel Buzz growth? Comment here.

Reshare only works for public posts. Private posts will not have the reshare link. However, you can reshare posts yourself publicly or privately. If a lot of people you follow reshare the same post, the similar posts will be collapsed.

"You’ll notice that resharing creates a new post, effectively forking the conversation. To fork or not fork was a decision we debated for a while," says Buzz software engineer Sam Goto. "Ultimately, we think forked conversations help create more varied, intimate discussions around a single item. We realize people may want a non-forking version too, so we’re thinking about how to do that as well."

"When there is a chain of reshares, the names of all of the people who publicly reshare the post appear on the original item, even if they’re not directly connected to the original author," Goto explains. "If you share something that ends up getting passed around by lots of other people, it’s pretty cool to see that."

It’s also worth noting that you can "like" a reshare, and that will not translate to a "like" for the original post. This means you can like a comment without liking what the comment is about.

Google Buzz - New Reshare feature - Google's version of the retweet

Google also  announced that it’s releasing an XHTML version of the Buzz website which can be accessed from many mobile devices like those running Android pre-2.0, Blackberry, Nokia S60, and Windows Mobile. This could go a long way for getting Buzz used by mobile users across a broader range of devices.

Google Buzz launched earlier this year to a great deal of hype – and why not – a potential Facebook/Twitter competitor from the giant that is Google – but much of the "buzz" about Buzz has faded in the months since. In fact, most of the discussion in the media about Buzz has been centered around privacy issues (though that has become considerably less rampant…Facebook has filled that role nicely).

As we’ve been saying since long before Buzz was announced, the key to a Google social network offering is in the integration with its other products. This made launching Buzz within Gmail seem like a smart move, but there is still much work to be done if Buzz is to become a real player in the space.

Adding features, such as the reshare feature is a start, but what may have a more significant impact was an announcement that came last week.

During Google I/O, I attended a session in which Google quietly announced the launch of the Buzz API. The news was generally overshadowed by other Google announcements, such as the unveilings of Google TV and FroYo, but with developers getting access to the Buzz API, there is room for much to be done around the service in terms of third-party apps, which should ultimately make Buzz much more useful. That’s what happened with Twitter. Developers like TweetDeck, Boxee, Buzzzy, Klout, Meebo, Seesmic, Vinehub, Shareaholic, and other have already taken advantage of the Buzz API.

It’s hard to say if the general public will find a real need for Buzz alongside Facebook, Twitter and other services, but as Google grows its presence in mobile via Android, and soon into television via Google TV, there will be more potential gateways for Buzz adoption, as well as integration.

Is Buzz headed in the right direction? Do you think Buzz use will explode? Share your thoughts.

Will Google Buzz Find Mainstream Appeal?
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  • Guest

    Once again, Google is brandishing its Johnny-come-lately approach to social media. FAIL, guys.

  • http://blog.schremper.com Ralf

    Of course the twitter retweet button is still #1 and that won’t change anytime soon. Also Facebook gets a decent share. As Facebook requires two way confirmation in order to become a friend the value of such mentions should be higher compared to twitter.

    Buzz has to be compared to twitter and not Facebook as you can follow unilaterally. And in fact the difference in retweet counts between Buzz and twitter is substantial which indicates the overall relevance.

    But indeed open up the API is a necessary next step. If this has a booster effect on Buzz remains to be seen.

  • Brian

    It seems to me like Buzz and Wave both make the ironic escape of being too complicated to suceed in the social space. It’s ironic because Google suceeded in great part because of it’s original ease of use. Some may say it’s not that complicated, but in the current platform, slight degrees of user effort or work flow make all the difference. MySpace is dying for the same reason – slight degrees of user challenge.

    I’m hoping I’m wrong here as I’m a straight up Googlephile.

  • http://www.green-trust.org Steve Spence

    Make it easier to add existing contacts. It seems it can’t pick from your gmail contact list. Would be nice if it could import from my other address lists like facebook, twitter, youtube, etc.

  • http://devils-online.blogspot.com azharee

    better than others, the answer was only that simple for me, because I think BUZZ connected to all directions and easy to use.

  • http://www.EmergencyPower.com Standby Generators

    Google Buzz is dead in my opinion. I had great interest in it but the fact there is no Google APP for iphones for example it is of no interest. The fact people have to have a google email address is also a killer. I love google gmail but not everyone does and until it is open to everyone it will not take off.

  • Guest (7)

    Obviously not !

  • Guest (8)

    I FIND IT IRONIC THAT YOU PURPORT YOUR SELVES TO BE A PRETTY SWITCHED-ON HIGH-TECK SITE, YET YOU ARE NOT SURE ABOUT HOW TO REMOVE SOMEONE FROM YOUR MAILING LIST.

    GO TO YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESSES FOR MAIL-SHOT PURPOSES.
    hIGHLIGHT OUR E-MAIL ADDRESS. CLICK THE “DELETE” BUTTON
    AND CONFIRM.

    YES, IT REALLY IS AS EASY AS THAT.

    I WONDER HOW MANY BROWNIE POINTS YOU ARE EARNING FROM YOUR OBVIOUSLY
    INTELLIGENT SUBSCRIBERS.
    THEY WANT TO RECEIVE YOUR RUBBISH, I DON’T.
    WHEN WILL YOU GET IT IN YOUR THICK HEADS I’M NOT BUYING WHAT YOU
    ARE SELLING.

    • http://blog.maskil.info/ Maskil

      Don’t you have a spam or junk mail filter on your e-mail client?

    • Chris Crum

      I do not handle our email list, but I’m pretty sure all of our mailings have unsubscribe links. If for some reason this has not worked for you, please contact our support team at support@ientry.com. They will need the email address you opted in with, as a non-identifying “guest’ post on an article on our site will not get the job done.

      Thanks.

  • http://www.discoverlebanon.com Guest

    I use buzz since few weeks..since it begin…I love it.. it is clean clear.. not like FB.. someone get lost from every corner’s informations…
    FB it is simply an idolatry site.. a fake social site.. who makes people social behind an LCD.. it is really ill… Go and meet people in real reduce this lcd social network…!! reduce being isolated and reduce solitude
    http://www.google.com/profiles/OneFineArt

  • http://www.bigears.net.au Gnomag

    The only thing that will help Buzz will be marketing. Hardly anyone has heard of it and when twitter and facebook are household names and becoming part of our everyday language in our everyday lives, e,g, “twitter it” or “facebook it”, I wouldn’t buy shares in it.

    Keep up the good work WebProNews. The information you supply us on a regular basis is fantastic. Your welcome to send me emails anytime.

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