Google released its new feature, Google Buzz, with lot of hype. Somehow it just did not garner as many thumbs up as it had hoped to. Many of you Gmail users might have already indulged in the Buzz. You can share your status updates with all your friends along with pictures, videos and links. These can also be commented upon. Sounds a lot like Facebook or Twitter eh?
Well Google Buzz aims to bring social networking facility along with email for users to access everything in one place. You can now follow updates, links and videos from family and friends in one place in a threaded format. You also have the option of making the post public or choose from a list of contacts. Google Buzz also has the added functionality of updating your Picasa and Flickr web albums with the pictures you add in Buzz. The same can also be done for videos with all your videos being uploaded to YouTube. You can also update your Google Chat status. All these updates and links are also available for others to comment and be liked. Google aims to bring every aspect of social networking and email under one roof.
While the plan was great the execution was not so fine. Many people adapted to Buzz very quickly and a lot was written and said about its greatness. People started comparing Buzz to Facebook and Twitter till they realized a big flaw in Buzz. Your most commonly mailed contacts were auto followed and irritatingly also made a public post about it. You really would not want the world to know who you mailed the most, would you? Google faced a lot of criticism for this gross violation of privacy. The Electronic Privacy Information Center also filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. There also have been complaints from other highly placed individuals with the latest coming from German Consumer Protection Minister who called Buzz was a massive intrusion of privacy. All this has shaken up Google to act and act fast.
Privacy problems apart there also have been other problems with the general working of Buzz too. Somehow the flow of information is rather messy. And the worst part, people may lose their Google profile if they choose to opt out it. While Buzz is definitely a very nice and interesting feature of Gmail, Google should have ironed out at least some of the bugs. The whole Buzz package seems very much in the pre beta stages.
Finally another social networking site just when we thought it was enough. Will the Buzz gain more points over Facebook and Twitter or will it just buzz away is yet to be seen. If intial reports are anything to go by Buzz sure has a long way to go.