The Click article for this week is brought to you by Hayley Underwood, my soon to be wife, so that she can tell you about Google Buzz; a new social networking application that she has been getting to grips with.
Google Buzz is an extension of the Google Mail service offered by Google which the Internet giants hope will lure users away from alternative services such as Facebook.
Google Mail initially created shockwaves when first introduced as they offered a huge 1GB of storage space for messages and attachments compared to most of its competitors who at the time offered a feeble 2 to 4MB. Today they offer a huge 7GB as standard however times have moved on and alternative providers such as Yahoo Mail and Hotmail also now offer an almost unlimited amount of storage space free of charge.
Despite not having the advantage over the competition in this respect any longer, Google Gmail continues to be a popular service due to its ability to integrate well with other e-mail accounts and the way in which it allows you to manage your messages. As an example, Gmail groups together messages that are of the same subject, making them part of a conversation file. In this way you can manage large number of e-mails grouped into the same conversation quickly and easily so that deleting or achieving them doesn’t cause a headache.
Google Gmail is free to use and paid for by advertising however the adverts are very small, non-intrusive and are targeted so that they are more relevant to subject matter that you might find of interest. There are no large graphic adverts and no pop-up or pop-under adverts to clutter your browser.
Google Buzz is a social networking application integrated into Gmail. It aims to offer a better method to share photos, links, videos, and events with your Gmail contacts and personally I believe it is rather coincidental that this was developed after Facebook announced plans they were developing their own email system.
Buzz has all the basic features that you would expect from a social networking application including the ability to share status updates, photos, links and videos both privately and publically. You can choose who you’d like to follow by simply entering their Gmail address at which point they can be added as a friend for you to see a steam of all their updates that have been shared either publically or privately with you. As with Facebook, other users can comment on public posts and show their appreciation for an update or users status by clicking the ‘like’ button.
You can direct a comment into a fellow users Gmail inbox by simply putting @ the beginning of your comment and the user name of that person is then hidden to protect their privacy. This feature can only be used with people that are in your Gmail contact list. Also by clicking on the arrow to the right of any post, you can link content to the post, email the contact directly and mute the buzz that appears in your inbox.
Google Buzz also integrates with Picasa, Flickr, Google Reader, YouTube, Blogger, and Twitter meaning that you are able to share content from these applications directly. This is a nice feature as it allows you to post files and albums you may have already created without having to go through the hardship of creating them twice.
The social networking market has the potential for huge rewards, especially for a company such as Google that makes such a large amount of its profits from revenue generated by advertising. With news that Buzz will soon be available on the Android phone and iPhones platforms, it will almost certainly give the more established social networking sites a run for their money.
About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.