Google Buzz: The Good, Bad, & Ugly Reactions

Google’s stated goal for Buzz is to help users cut through the noise of social networking. Ironically, yesterday’s announcement created as much noise (maybe more?) as an Apple announcement. Yep, everybody’s got an opinion about Google Buzz and if you’re one of the many who found it impossible to follow the reactions, we’ve done some of the legwork for you.

It would be impossible to recap all the buzz about Buzz, but here’s a noteworthy selection of the good, bad, and ugly.

The Good

Jeremiah Owyang at Web Strategy:

At the high level, this is a strong move for Google, they continue to aggregate other people’s social content, and become the intermediatry. This helps them to suck in Twitter, Flickr, and any-other-data type as the APIs open up, giving them more to ‘organize’. This is Google acting on it’s mission to the world.

Jason Calacanis at

Google Buzz is brilliant. Like ground-breaking, game-changing brilliant.

And more from Calacanis:

My 30 second review of Google Buzz: 1. Google Buzz 1.0 is better than Facebook after six or seven years.

Larry Dignan at ZDNet:

If Google Buzz becomes Google corporate Buzz it could be disruptive. Enterprises could potentially use it to save on Sharepoint licenses. It’s all about the collaboration. Now it’s premature to call Google Buzz any kind of SharePoint killer, but the search giant’s enterprise strategy and tactics appear to be coming into focus.

Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb:

It’s tempting to recoil at the thought of Google powering one more part of our lives online, and our friends’ activity streams are a very important part of the online experience now. But if the growing number of data portability and open web advocates the company has hired can do their jobs well – then Google Buzz could be a big force for good.

Cory Bergman at Lost Remote:

It’s easy to compare this with Facebook and Twitter, both of which, especially Facebook, have tremendous scale. But Google Buzz is ahead of the curve on the local front, both with massive distribution in a local context and an emphasis on tying messages to places.

John Furrier at SiliconANGLE:

Google Buzz makes more sense for “normal people” verses the tech insiders. Email still is the best way to keep in touch with friends and colleagues. Yes, real time web is huge, but email is the most used feature for existing web users. Facebook on the other hand has a crappy email function and it is targeted at younger audiences who don’t value email. This is a good move for Google – go after the users they own and leverage that to bolt on a social network component – it’s a threat to Facebook.

Kim-Mai Cutler at VentureBeat:

So a Gmail-based social network or another competitor can step in by offering the intimacy missing in these other networks. There should be an online space where people feel comfortable sharing with their very best friends. Maybe it’s no Facebook- or Twitter-killer, but this is what Google Buzz could be.

The Bad

John Battelle at Searchblog:

I am not so certain this is going to work. And my reasons remain the same: 1. Buzz does not let you publish out from Gmail to Twitter or Facebook. So for this to compete, you have to build yet another network of followers/friends – and do it through Google services. Not many of us use Google services for social purposes. That’s a mismatch.

And more from Battelle:

The reality is, Facebook has won the social graph war. Google taking on Facebook for the social graph is akin to Facebook taking on google in web search. IE, silly.

Robert Mullins at VentureBeat:

While some of Buzz’s offerings sound like improvements over the Facebook and Twitter experiences, many of them don’t — and they certainly don’t convince me that I need to migrate my social world to Buzz.

Dan Frommer at Silicon Alley Insider:

Like many Google products, it appears to be nicely engineered and has a clean design. But like many Google services, it lacks any imagination or compelling reasons to use it. (Starting with the name, a rip-off from Yahoo.) As a result, it’s probably not a threat to any of the services it’s trying to disrupt.

Mark Sigal at O’Reilly Radar:

If anything, the “Google Way” has taught me that their loosely-coupled approach leads to uninspiring, weakly integrated products that may or may not have a predictable lifecycle to them. Put another way, why should I pay prolonged, serious attention to Google Buzz until Google shows that THEY are committed to paying prolonged, serious attention to it?

Dave Winer on Scripting News:

Maybe it will get uptake, but there’s nothing here for me as a developer. I’m even more bored with Buzz after 15 minutes than I am with Twitter after three years.

David Griner at The Social Path:

But here’s the problem: Google Buzz isn’t a replacement for Facebook. If anything, this new tool for sharing links and photos from Gmail is a replacement for FriendFeed, a site that never really gained mainstream acceptance in the first place.

Andrew Goodman at Traffick:

Twitter-killer, no. Another step towards the gradual loss of privacy and towards making unconscious decisions to overshare, probably. It seems like a fun way to communicate for the typical person who has a single account and feels comfortable sharing in a certain way. But isn’t it late to the party? Didn’t we join Facebook because Facebook was “for that purpose”? When we signed up for GMail, wasn’t it for another purpose?

The Ugly

Nick Saint at Silicon Alley Insider:

Google Buzz was announced to widespread derision yesterday afternoon. Now, for many Google users, it is up and running. Whatever the merits of the final product, the rollout is a disaster.

Daniel Lyons (FakeSteve) at

Why does Buzz even exist? Is it because Google wants to make my life better in some way? No. Buzz exists because Google feels threatened by Twitter and Facebook and wants to kill them. Google has become what Microsoft used to be—the Borg, the company that gobbles up ideas from smaller rivals and cranks out lame imitations in an attempt to put the little guys out of business.

That is the biggest problem with Buzz—it was invented not for us but for Google.

Nicholas Carlson at Silicon Alley Insider:

Google announced Google Buzz today — the search engine’s answer to Twitter and Facebook. We weren’t impressed. Reasons:

  • It doesn’t do anything new — only what several existing brands already do better.
  • 400 million people are already happily using Facebook. Why would they switch?
  • We hate the name, a ripoff from Yahoo.
  • The design looks like every other bland Google page.
  • The people who are our Gmail contacts are not the same people we’re friends with on Facebook.

Your Turn

Now that you’ve probably had a chance to play with Google Buzz a bit, whom do you agree with above? Give us your thoughts in the comments.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Google: Buzz | Google: Critics | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • ccarfi

    The Google Buzz interface reinforces the power law, and will be its fatal flaw.

  • RebeccaL

    Google may be trying to compete on social networking with Twitter and Facebook, but Facebook in particular has thrown down the gauntlet with its own intentions to enter the search market. Search and social media are growing together, and it makes sense that Google and Facebook would consider themselves competitors. Buzz will take some getting used to. I’ve shared my own initial impressions at Whitehat, Blackbelt

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