Category: developers journal

Google Buzz – please buzz off

Author: Daemon February 12, 2010

Could Google fail more?

Their latest creation Google Buzz is so wrong on so many points that is is just hilarious. Google tried to improve Twitter by adding more features, and failed so horribly that this fail will be retold by the generations to come. "Hey grandpa, please tell us again about the epic fail that was Google Buzz back when you were young."

1. Integrating Google Buzz into Gmail is conceptually pretty bad idea. If you are a hard core Gmail user - having Gmail (or Gmail interface) as your main email - you will have your inbox flooded during the normal work day. So why add more pressure on the user by making a FOLDER named Buzz which contains more to read? On the other hand, if you are not a Gmail user, you will most likely not have must to Buzz about, or will just not be interested in this. If Google made Buzz a stand-alone service that users could perceive as a separated software, Buzz would have better chance.

2. Google obviously failed to realize why Twitter is so good. Hint: it's the 140 character limit. Through Twitter information flows quickly. There are no old threads to which you can reply, they just quickly go into the oblivion of the past. Buzz tried to "improve" Twitter by not limiting post characters, and by having Comments on each thread. Comments just force users to constantly return to the past to check if maybe someone commented something that was said 2 days ago.

3. Massive amounts of text and different media are just impossible to translate into mobile devices. Look at this screenshot, this is the first Buzz that appeared in my Buzz-inbox:

You will notice the comments. Expanded, it looks like this:

Does Google really expect me to follow this amount of text being pushed to me every 5 minutes? I can only imagine how Buzz-inbox looks like for hardcore Gmail users. It must be like the Matrix - letters and numbers scrolling down on screen at the speed of light. Maybe after some use you do not see the text any more, you just see a redhead chick here, and a lolcat there embeded in all that code, pardon, text.

On the other hand, this is a screenshot of Tweetie, a supreme Twitter iPhone client. Buzz will absolutely NEVER achieve this simplicity of communication.

Can you imagine Buzz App that is simple to use and simple to read? Neither can I.

4. Two days after Buzz appeared, the hottest topic on the net was how to turn it off. How to block people, how to remove all posts, etc.

The Google engineers live in their little Ivory Tower totally separated from the world. They think that everyone is like them - a techno crazy people who can visually parse tons and tons of code, pardon; text. Starting with Wave, now continuing to Buzz, they are just showing us that they have completely lost all grips of reality, and real user needs. We need simplification of processes, aggregation of existing services, and order in chaos. Google is pushing the ball the other way, and the users say: "No you don't."


    5 thoughts on “Google Buzz – please buzz off”

  • I Agree and just add that this tool is the worst mistake from google. But like you stated “HC” gmail and “google in general users” just want this. I personally like every tool from google but not using all of them.

  • Did you tried to explain Twitter to regular Gmail users that are 50+ years old ? Can you say for certain that the way Google Buzz is integrated in Gmail will not make it findable and usable for users that don’t have an Twitter account ?

    I can agree that Google Buzz is not a replacement for Twitter which is unique. But saying that Buzz has no future is wrong because for non Twitter and existing Gmail users Buzz is definitely findable. Its right there under your inbox.

    There are around 25 million Twitter users and around 150 million Gmail users. As I see it there are 150 million potential Google Buzz users.

  • Every user of your service is a potential user of your another service, especially if you integrate them so closely together. However, seeing that the main topic since Buzz launched is how to turn the damned thing off, makes little Google panda sad =)

  • You are forgetting what is Google and the power of Gmail and it’s 150 million users. I believe they will correct most of the flaws in near future.

    Also, I would emphasize Davor’s statement – “Gmail users are all potential Google Buzz users”. Large number of users will use this service just because it is Google and “must” be good…

    Don’t forget, in first day of launch Buzz was bigger than Twitter after a few years. Damn good start, don’t you think? :-)

  • I couldn’t agree more. What were they thinking in Google? Why don’t they get social networks? Who wants a social network in their webmail?

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