If you’re a Gmail user (or simply a reader of the Internet) you might have heard about Google’s latest foray into the social media space. Their new service, Buzz, is a Twitter/Facebook-Status-Update/Foursquare hybrid that lives inside their mail service.
Even though Buzz is yet another service for people to keep updated, it does offer some pretty nice features.
One of the biggest draws for the service is that if you have a Gmail account, you’re automatically signed up for Buzz. There’s no choosing a username, setting up a profile or confirming membership. There’s also no looking for people to follow. You automatically get updates from your Gmail contacts. Finally, the updates are accessible directly from your inbox, so you can read the latest buzz from your friends while you check your mail and without visiting multiple sites.
More Than Text
Buzz makes it easy to embed maps, photos and videos directly into your messages, so people can see what you want them to see without opening a new browser or even clicking a link.
With many smartphones, Buzz can tag your update with your current location. So, for example, if you post about having some great coffee, your friends can see exactly where that’s happening. Or, if you’re more of an observer, you can see updates from other Buzz users that are nearby your current location, potentially tipping you off to a great deal or a worthwhile activity. Finally, you can speak your update into your phone and Buzz will automatically transcribe your message for you – no typing necessary.
Worth The Buzz or Just a Bust?
It’s difficult to tell if Buzz’s features are strong enough to make it a serious contender. Its tight Google integration is sure to be a draw and maybe even serve as a gateway-social-media tool for those who have yet to make the plunge into the social media world. But it’s also entering a crowded space with strongly entrenched competition.