Another Google product! Grrr....
Wait, only this time, its about...hold your breath Social Networking! Erm...do we need any more social networking sites? Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Digg, Stumble Upon, MySpace, the list goes on and on. Hasnt the networking bubble already burst? I mean, havent we 'networked' enough already?
Apparently Google thinks we havent. And so it endeavours to set foot on the only territory on the web which it hasnt been able to conquer so far. If you are from India, or from Brazil, you probably have used something called Orkut. For millions of others, Orkut is a social networking site created many years ago by Google. It became quite a huge hit in India and at some point, almost every net surfer had an Orkut account. It all changed when we discovered Facebook. Facebook, the most popular social networking site on the planet had so far remained completely oblivious to us, Indians (Or is it the other way round?).
Until recently, when all of a sudden Facebook and Twitter seemed to be the latest buzz word around. Everyone started shifting to facebook, partly because it offered more security, better features etc. and even more because it was a matter of keeping up with the Jones, although in India its more like keeping up with the Rams and the Shyams.
Okay, I'm getting completely lost here. Back to the point. So you see, Google really had to come up with something very unique in order to hold on to its subscriber base. Renovating Orkut didnt work, actually it backfired; for most Orkut users dont like the new Orkut (or lets say the facebook-wannabe-Orkut).
So now, Google reinvents Orkut in a way (which I'm sure many of you might've noticed) very intelligent indeed. Google integrates Google Buzz to their most popular offering, Gmail. Smart thinking, Google! Now every Gmail user logging in, will be asked the question, 'do you want to try out Google Buzz?'. 9/10 times a user will think, why not? And hence one gets to explore the 'buzz'.
So what is it? Its basically a 'sharing' web app (if I may categorise it as such) which allows you to share your favourite links, photos and videos, and share it with the world. I'm quite surprised as to how much it resembles Google Wave. Google Buzz in my opinion is Google Wave with more options.
It has no separate interface since it integrates with your Gmail account, which makes it quite boring to be honest. As of now its not exactly lightning fast, which really doesnt contribute to the wow-factor anyway. It allows you to comment on anything and everything posted and even 'Like' a post (No 'Un-like' option here, unfortunately, as Google has vowed to copy facebook feature by feature and not add anything else)!
However Buzz automatically adds all your Gmail contacts (who have signed up for Buzz) to your Buzz followers (have I heard that word somewhere else?). Hence you are not exactly alone (like most of us who have used Google Wave when it launched were).
Its neither facebook, its not twitter and its not anything relevant. To me, its just another failed attempt at replicating the magic of facebook.