Google takes another step toward the social media scene with Google Buzz.
What can Buzz do?
Buzz works within Gmail so to use this new social media tool you first need to set up a Gmail account. Then you can automatically start following the people you contact the most through email. Much like Facebook, you share status updates, links, photos and videos. Unlike Facebook, the email notifications are not static. If you view an email about a photo comment while somebody else is commenting, that is updated in your email from Buzz.
Buzz works well with other Google products like Picasa and Blogger. They also have a relationship with Twitter so you can incorporate your Tweets to be visible on your Buzz feed.
In Google’s short video on the capabilities of Buzz, they explain that pictures can be viewed full screen instead of smaller, lower resolution photos, I’m assuming in a reference to Facebook. They also point out that videos are played in the feed to eliminate the need to open a separate window, which Facebook already does.
Buzz can also use your location in your Buzz posts. If you are enjoying a panini at a local cafe and want to let everybody know on your Buzz, it will pin point where you are when you use your mobile phone.
What can’t Buzz do?
Buzz cannot do anything with Facebook. No agreement has been worked out between the two companies and Google has said no future announcement of an agreement has been planned.
While Buzz can post your Tweets made on Twitter, that’s where its Twitter capabilities end. People you follow on Twitter will not appear on Buzz unless you are following them there as well. You cannot Tweet on Buzz and have it appear in Twitter. Buzz’s Twitter capabilities are so small that you would need to continue to use the Twitter interface anyway.
So the million dollar question: Where does Google Buzz fit in? Does its limited Twitter connectivity and lack of Facebook connectivity diminish its usefulness? Facebook already has such a huge following, would those users be willing to migrate to an entirely different program which is run through a Gmail account? Or will an entire new group of folks flock to Google Buzz?