Gmail Goes Social With Buzz

Google revolutionized the email arena with the launch of Gmail a little over 5 years ago. However, in the recent past other services like MSN and Yahoo have been adding features that Google has forgone or not really been interested in integrating in to the Gmail platform. The last few weeks we have all been reading about Gmail allowing status updates. Google has gone and done one better and enabled Buzz in Gmail accounts.

Google Buzz is more akin to the kind of social update sharing and time-line visibility that is offered by social websites and comes close to the functionality offered by Google Wave. It is definitely much more than just status updates. Buzz integrates your details from your Google profile page and displays the people whose updates you are following and also those people who are following you.

Right after login a splash screen informs you about Buzz and ask if you want to enable it. If you do enable it (Why wouldn't you?) the Buzz link appears below your inbox link.

Right after login a splash screen informs you about Buzz and ask if you want to enable it. If you do enable it (Why wouldn't you?) the Buzz link appears below your inbox link.

The main Buzz updates area. Looks familiar doesn't it? Enter your status in the top area and your connections will start to see them in their Buzz and can then comment on them. Images and web links can also be entered. Buzz will also pull images from the linked page and allow you to use them in your update.

The main Buzz updates area. Looks familiar doesn't it? Enter your status in the top area and your connections will start to see them in their Buzz and can then comment on them. Images and web links can also be entered. Buzz will also pull images from the linked page and allow you to use them in your update.

People who are following you and the people who you are following can be seen with the links provided. Your Buzz update can be public or shared with selected=

People who are following you and the people who you are following can be seen with the links provided. Your Buzz update can be public or shared with selected poeple.

The Buzz update can be commented on, Liked/Unliked and also emailed to someone. All from the same area.

The Buzz update can be commented on, Liked/Unliked and also emailed to someone. All from the same area.

Add various sites to your buzz profile. Looks like sites are picked up from all your google products like analytics or apps.

Add various sites to your buzz profile. Looks like sites are picked up from all your google products like analytics or apps.

I like this a lot more than I liked Wave. I really didn’t get the point of Wave. This is more useful in my opinion. Integrated into Gmail (which I access a hundred times a day), just the right amount of functionality to share your thoughts and interesting links and the power to work with images directly in the update, not to mention  the commenting by contacts, makes Buzz a great addition to Gmail.

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