Poor Twitter. Google’s got a handle on your chats, news, email, and probably some of your most secretive thoughts. Just as Google Wave was turning out to be a bust, Google found a new way to combine formerly isolated applications and consolidated them into a whole ‘nuther kind of newsfeed. Google says that Buzz “is a gateway to Wave,” but it doesn’t seem like Wave is potent enough (yet) for more generalized use. Enter: Buzz.
As an office whore, I have been a Google Reader enthusiast for awhile. Now, all the people who kept asking me, “What is the point of Google Reader” can find out, because every blog I share will show up on Buzz. Reader lets you follow hundreds of blogs, and share the pick of the litter with your followers. Not only that, but you and your friends can have your own politically incorrect comment threads among each other. Buzz takes that idea and applies it to every piece of “news” on Buzz — just like Facebook.
Buzz is the quintessential mashup of Twitter and Facebook, and combines the best of each to form a more streamlined user experience. You know how sometimes it’s really hard to open up a new tab for Facebook and Twitter? If Buzz replaces the need for these two applications, you can e-mail, chat, share documents, video, blogs, and witty status updates, all on one page. Lo and behold, we have the ultimate one-stop shop for office and work distraction (unless, of course, you’re using it to “work,” pssh).
So, there is the question everyone is asking: will Buzz replace the need for Twitter and Facebook? Not quite. You don’t have Rachel Maddow’s e-mail address, first of all. Secondly, you can stalk your high school enemies and pseudo-celebs on Facebook, but save Buzz for what you like to share among friends. Buzz is excellent for your basic, day-to-day information sharing with people whom you have regular e-contact. This leaves room for slightly more self-indulgent status updates, and a little less mature, self-censorship in general.
If that’s not enough to sell you — there’s not a Mafia War, a Farmville, or Restaurant World in sight.