IT’S BUZZ ERA
GOOGLE had blogged before about our thoughts on the social web, steps we’ve taken to add social features to our products, and efforts like OpenSocial that propose common tools for building social apps. With more and more communication happening online, the social web has exploded as the primary way to share interesting stuff, tell the world what you’re up to in real-time and stay more connected to more people. In today’s world of status messages, tweets and update streams, it’s increasingly tough to sort through it all, much less engage in meaningful conversations.
Google’s belief is that organizing the social information on the web — finding relevance in the noise — has become a large-scale challenge, one that Google’s experience in organizing information can help solve. Google had recently launched innovations like real-time search and Social Search, and finally taking another big step with the introduction of a new product, Google Buzz.
Google Buzz is a new way to start conversations about the things you find interesting. It’s built right into Gmail, so you don’t have to peck out an entirely new set of friends from scratch — it just works. If you think about it, there’s always been a big social network underlying Gmail. Buzz brings this network to the surface by automatically setting you up to follow the people you email and chat with the most. We focused on building an easy-to-use sharing experience that richly integrates photos, videos and links, and makes it easy to share publicly or privately (so you don’t have to use different tools to share with different audiences). Plus, Buzz integrates tightly with your existing Gmail inbox, so you’re sure to see the stuff that matters most as it happens in real time.
Google is rolling out Buzz to all Gmail accounts over the next few days, so if you don’t see it in your account yet, check back soon. Google’s plan is to make Google Buzz available to businesses and schools using Google Apps, with added features for sharing within organizations.
On your phone, Google Buzz is much more than just a small screen version of the desktop experience. Mobile devices add an important component to sharing: location. Posts tagged with geographical information have an extra dimension of context — the answer to the question “where were you when you shared this?” can communicate so much. And when viewed in aggregate, the posts about a particular location can paint an extremely rich picture of that place. Check out the Mobile Blog for more info about all of the ways to use Buzz on your phone, from a new mobile web app to a Buzz layer in Google Maps for mobile.
You can connect Flickr and Twitter from Buzz in Gmail and Buzz itself is not designed to be a closed system. Our goal is to make Buzz a fully open and distributed platform for conversations. Google is building on a suite of open protocols to create a complete read/write developer API, and invites developers to join Google on Google Code to see what is available and to learn more about how to participate.