Yesterday we wrote a post on a possible upcoming Google product that would allow you to basically be Google’s answer to Twitter, and sure enough today Google announced Google Buzz, working almost exactly as we (or the WSJ) said it would.
Think Foursquare mixed with the best of Twitter or Friendfeed, and that’s what Buzz is. Basically it will be available through Gmail and Google Reader, and allow you to update your ‘status’ just like you do on Twitter. Only thing is, just like in Foursquare you can choose to show your location and add tips for people that visit there later.
Status updates that you post can either be seen by everyone (i.e public) or just your closest friends. Google will allow you to import the latest tweets from Twitter, pictures from Picasa and Flickr and as mentioned above content from Google Reader all in real-time with no refresh required. The service will also filter out ‘unnecessary’ content and words such as ‘brb’ and ‘gtg’, and will auto-collapse updates with little or no comments.
“Our belief is that organizing the social information on the web — finding relevance in the noise — has become a large-scale challenge, one that Google’s experience in organizing information can help solve,” Todd Jackson, Product Manager for Gmail and Google Buzz said.
“We’ve recently launched innovations like real-time search and Social Search, and today we’re taking another big step with the introduction of a new product, Google Buzz.”
Buzz has also been pushed as a great mobile application, working already on the iPhone or Android phones when you visit the Buzz site from the web browser. There’s no native applications for the iPhone or Android OS yet, but the reason it’s limited the two OS’s at the moment? Because these phones are the only ones that support HTML 5 and location awareness. The site allows you to post a ‘buzz’ or a comment about the place you are currently located (shop, hairdressers wherever you may be) and map it using Google Maps.
Right now Buzz is available in just 1% of all Gmail accounts, but Google says over the next week or so it will be rolled out on a much larger scale. And a reminder: you must have a Gmail account to be able to use Buzz, it won’t be or at least isn’t yet a totally stand-alone product.