Social Networking

Google Buzz: One month later

What a difference a month makes. A day after Google Buzz launched, I posted my initial impressions and included a pic that showed the enormous Buzz chatter in Montreal in the hours after its launch. Well today, one month later, I decided to log on and see what the Buzz was downtown:

Hello, anyone?

Pretty dead, as you can see. Once again, it appears that Google’s algorithm-based methodology has let them down, and now they’ve got to figure out a way to turn Buzz into something people will use regularly. My own Google Buzz feed now seems to consist solely of reposts from people’s linked Twitter accounts. Buzz has the potential to be huge in social media. However, it seems as if Google might be stretching themselves too thin here. They have so many products and services, it seems as if every time they launch a new one it sits in neglect for months before changes and tweaks are made. Except for some privacy changes made a few days after Buzz’ launch, Google hasn’t done much with it.

I still like Buzz, but Twitter’s simplicity and head start are keeping it ahead. Twitter has also always had a problem retaining users, with about 60% of people who sign up abandoning the service within a month. I thought Google’s built-in legion of Gmail users might take up Buzz in a big way, but so far, it’s proven to be more of a nuisance for them.

Social Networking

Google Buzz: 24 hours later

The Buzz from Downtown Montreal, just 24 hours after launch.

Google’s new Buzz, its latest foray into the social media sphere has landed on gmail accounts everywhere. Despite launching yesterday at 1pm on a few desktops, Android smartphones (version 2.0 or higher only!) and the iPhone, there seems to be quite a bit of activity by Montreal’s Buzzerati.

My first impressions: Google Buzz, while late to the game, isn’t too late, and I think it will be a hit. While some may feel needing a Gmail account will hamper Buzz, I couldn’t agree more. The fact that so many people already have Gmail means Buzz has an installed user base in the millions. By activating Buzz, Google will automatically suggest Gmail users you know that you can follow. Surprisingly, I found its suggestions to be pertinent and convenient.

The Buzz Web App for iPhone and Android 2.0 phones is impressive, although I have seen some bugginess on Apple’s iconic device when trying to view maps. That aside, being able to localize Buzz is impressive since so many people are using the service already. Doing the same thing with Tweetie on the iPhone can be a big letdown when you see so few people around you tweeting.

I don’t see this as competition for Facebook just yet, but I think the folks at Twitter should be quaking in their Levi’s right about now. Google infrastructure and security is simply too strong to be hampered by the “Fail Whale” and spam that has continued to hurt Twitter.