There was a lot of buzz yesterday in my timeline. All of a sudden, Google revealed its brand-new social web product and called it Google Buzz. From what I can read on the web, it’s Gmail going social (maybe going even Facebook or Twitter, I don’t know) and mobile at the same time. Unfortunately, I still don’t have Buzz in my Gmail.
As Googler Jyri Engeström explains, Google Buzz has its roots in Jaiku, the Finish start-up that Jyri founded and sold to Google more than two years ago.
When the Jaiku team joined Google, we were tasked with doing „something cool with mobile and social“. The problem at the time was that there was no Google-wide social graph. There was no sharing model or friend groups. There was no working activity stream back-end. There were not even URLs for people. All this had to be built, and parts of the whole (such as Google Profiles and Latitude) were shipped incrementally along the way. The archstone that brings everything together is Buzz in Gmail.
So far, the public has proven to be not ready for Wave yet.
So maybe Google Buzz is what we get for now while Google Wave might indeed be the future. By the way, the first glimpse of what was later revealed as Google Buzz was „buzz“ reserved as a system name which couldn’t be used as a label in Gmail. This story broke on one of Leo Laporte’s shows, I don’t remember if it was This Week in Google or This Week in Tech.
What’s missing in Buzz for now? While Twitter is integrated, Facebook isn’t. Facebook is the real competitor for Google Buzz. And Facebook is said to be working on a potential Gmail killer. It remains to be seen if Google gets Facebook somehow in the game or not.