Well Google's answer to Twitter is out, Google Buzz...
So What is it?
There are some videos below, but the long and short of it is Twitter/Facebook status style messages that integrate with all your Google Services.
The idea being all your Gmail contacts are like your friends list on Facebook or followers on Twitter. Updates can be sent directly to Gmail Inbox using a handy '@' sign (look familiar?) or just followed on the 'Buzz' tab of Gmail.
Location (for mobile) is king on this thing and while you have private 'Buzz's' (odd pluralisation there to get used to) you can post a public Buzz that has a geo-tagging option, so you can see what the 'Buzz' is around you.
It makes sense to integrate this service in to the existing Google ecosystem and should hopefully reduce any barriers for adoption.
However, like all these 'amazing' services from the Google Empire, participation is key.
If (and thats a big if) people start to use this , I can really see it being a useful tool which would be a kind of cool way to see whats happening around me.
Initial impressions for me haven't been great:
On the Google Maps 4.0 (Android) layer i tried to test a 'Buzz' including a picture of my TV, however after taking the picture it got stuck in a loop trying to make me reinstall Maps.
So I tried without the picture and got the prophetic message 'Failed to create Buzz'
No matter, so I tried the awesome new voice integration, where you simply say in the inbuilt voice search app, 'Post Buzz' and then what you want to
I tried the following:
"Post Buzz, Trying out Googles Buzz in my living room' which then produced a Google search of
'Coat bus, Chinatown Bus from Manhattan'
For now I'll put this down to teething troubles and give them the benefit of the doubt.
I also wonder how long it will take for people to hit on random women with 'Buzz' and whether we really want to know the strange thoughts of people near us.
Weird stalkers and public perversion aside, I'm going to put this in the 'wait and see' pile next to Latitude, Wave and the other amazing technologies from Google I wish I had a reason to use.
UPDATED: Yep, appeared to be teething trouble, Gmail Buzz is working and more impressively i can see lots of Buzz's on Google Maps around me. So far its all men, not sure what that says, but seriously someone will make a fortune with a dating business model based on this API.
Google Buzz for Mobile