Tedious tweets Buzz off

Google's new Buzz tool has the potential to address some of the downsides of social newtorking

Google has launched Buzz, a new tool which holds the promise of addressing one of the major failings of social networking apps to date: filtering out the gushing torrent of inanities flowing from people who are, in effect, complete strangers.

Google is pitching Buzz, accessible from within Gmail, as a new way to share updates, photos, videos, among other things and a way to start conversations about the topics of interest to users.

“In today's world of status messages, tweets, and update streams, it's increasingly tough to sort through it all, much less engage in meaningful conversations,” Todd Jackson, product manager for Gmail and Google Buzz wrote on the company’s official blog.

“Our belief is that organising the social information on the web -- finding relevance in the noise -- has become a Google-scale problem.”

<i>See Computerworld's detailed break-down of Buzz's features</i>

Google is hoping to address this by harnessing “social graph” hidden within Gmail users emails, according to Jackson.

“If you think about it, there's always been a giant social graph underneath Gmail,” the blog reads. “Buzz surfaces this network by automatically setting you up to follow the people you email and chat with the most.”

The new application can also be run on mobile devices, and when done so, is capable of utilising location based information.

“Posts tagged with geographical information have an extra dimension of context -- the answer to the question "where were you when you shared this?" can communicate so much,” the blog reads. “When viewed in aggregate, the posts about a particular location can paint an extremely rich picture of that place.”

To date, Buzz allows users to access Flickr and Twitter, however Google is aiming to develop a “fully open and distributed platform for conversations” Jackson wrote.

“We're busy working on a full read/write API for developers, but for now have a simple feed-based API that uses standard protocols to access public buzz content.” The blog reads. “Stay tuned for a lot more progress on the developer side of things, as well as Buzz in Google Apps for businesses and schools.”

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