Google Buzz is the latest Web application to be created by the Internet giant, Google. This application is Twitter-like in nature. Google Buzz allows users to post status updates from the ease of their Gmail account. These updates can be viewed by anyone on your contacts list from Gmail. However, this is where the problem with Google Buzz begins. While brilliant in concept, there are a number of downsides that heavily affect Google Buzz’s chances to become the Internet-wide force that Twitter has become in such a short time.
Privacy is a huge concern with Google Buzz because the automatic Web application that generates a list for you from your contacts. This is a huge issue, since the only solution is to go through and block each individual from seeing your “Buzz” updates. There is also another problem, these auto-generated follower lists can be viewed publicly worldwide. Not only is this a bit creepy, it creates a major concern since spammers will suddenly have all these lovely new contacts to use. To Google’s credit, they quickly realized the error of their ways and made solutions to this particular issue.
The early release of Google Buzz also had another not-so-pleasant issue. If someone were to click “Ok” when Google prompted them with the option to join Google Buzz and then decided after the fact that they didn’t wish to participate, they could scroll down to the bottom of the Gmail account page and click “turn off Google Buzz.” The page would then reload, and lo-and-behold the pesky Buzz just wouldn’t die! The button was completely ineffective on removing Google Buzz. The only solution was to disable public profile and then block everyone on your contacts list one at a time. This too was eventually fixed.
In essence, Google Buzz offers the exact same services as Twitter and other social networking sites. Not only can individuals post comments, they are also capable of posting images and videos in their comment stream. While this allows for a richer, social experience in a Twitter-like environment, it still fails to serve any real need on the consumers part, beside the hardcore “Twitterholic.” Goggle Buzz, while good in concept, just doesn’t translate to the needs of the people. Google has lost its cutting-edge feel, and instead seems content on trying to play catch-up.
Cover and story photo courtesy of Creative Commons