Time to Give Up on Google Buzz
Before I get started … one thing: Some would say this is the second “Google bashing” post in a row, with the other one slamming Google’s “Me” before it even gets off the ground. One could say that, and I suppose it would be a fair assessment. I do want to let it be known, however, that I am anything but against Google. I’m a huge fan of their services, such as Gmail, Analytics, Docs, and of course their web search. However, something seems to be missing with Google when it comes to creation of a social media service. With word leaking out that they’re working on a new service to go head-to-head with Facebook, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at their last attempt.
When was the last time you “Buzzed”? If you’re anything like me, you can’t remember the last time you logged on to Google’s attempt at a social media service. All evidence indicates that while Google Buzz does have its users, it doesn’t have anywhere near as many loyal users as Facebook or even Twitter. Mashable noted back in April that 89% of the traffic on Buzz is automated. That percentage is way too high. Here’s another piece of evidence that Buzz isn’t a big hit:
The image above is clipped from the Techcrunch website. As you can see, the article has been shared on Twitter 235 times. It’s been shared on Buzz exactly once. It hasn’t been shared many times on Facebook either, but that site doesn’t have quite as much tradition of sharing news articles as Twitter, and Buzz obviously wants to be more like Twitter. Mashable, meanwhile, appears to have removed its Buzz share icon entirely … replacing it with one for Digg.
When it was (hastily) launched back in February, it seemed like it might be a good idea. It seemed Twitter-like, without the limitation of 140 characters. And, the integration with Gmail ensured it would get off the ground quickly.
However, I think it was actually the strengths I mentioned above that ended up keeping Buzz from being a huge success. First, while the integration with Gmail did automatically bring the service millions of users, I think people realized they didn’t want close integration with their email. Who wants an email every time something is posted? Also, the fact that the service is similar to Twitter may be the other factor that kept it from being a Twitter killer. We already have a Twitter … why do we need another one?
I’m planning to remove the Buzz share icons from EndGamePR.com and replace them with ones for Digg. I’ll likely do the same for my client sites. Honestly, I haven’t seen any evidence that the Buzz icons are being used.
What about you? Are you using Buzz? Are your friends and co-workers using it?