Google Buzz social sharing service announced
In a hastily arranged press conference also streamed live online via YouTube's new live broadcast functionality, Google has announced the launch of a new social web experience called "Buzz".
Taking a dig at Twitter and Facebook by saying there is currently a lot of irrelevant content we're forced to sit through (example given - "Joe had a bagel for breakfast") Google says web users are suffering from TMI (too much information) and "over sharing".
Trying to make sense of the relevance problems, Google has announced "a new approach" to sharing with Buzz's tagline revealed as "a Google approach to sharing".
Working in Gmail inboxes with a new "Buzz" tab under the inbox, Gmail users will find that Google has set up accounts to "auto-follow" the people you email and chat with the most for a great "out of the box" experience.
Buzz features are said to offer a "rich, fast sharing experience", with options for both public and private sharing, inbox integration with @ replies and "just the good stuff" with"recommended stuff" which highlights items user's contacts like, even if it comes from someone not in the user's contact group.
Google promises that it will somehow manage to filter out boring Buzzes with shorter Buzz comments, like three-word status updates (so presumably the "Joe had a bagel" type) shown in short form.
Google says Buzz is a solution to "manage social data" and help "filter through the noise", although Twitter integration will be an option (as in pulling in tweets, not replying at this stage) while Google Wave users are promised that integration is a "logical step" in the future.
The Twitter-rivalling part comes in with a user's Buzz content, profile and followers displayed on the user's Google profile, which will act as a public homepage, similar to Twitter profiles, or depending on your privacy settings, Facebook profiles.
As well as in Gmail, Buzz is to launch as a mobile phone application for Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile handsets and iPhones with geo-location functionality working with a new version of Google Mobile Maps adding location relevance to the service.
Google Maps will get a new "Buzz" layer that will show content that's been Buzzed in a certain location, which could well develop further along Foursquare lines, with location-based services a big growth area with GPS-enabled phones more common than ever.
Google has said is also plans to make Google Buzz available to businesses and schools using Google Apps, with added features for sharing within organisations.
Buzz will begin to roll out immediately - keep loading your Gmail over the next few days to see the features in your inbox, says Google.