A couple of days ago, google announced buzz – a new service which is hard to describe. Think twitter, facebook, gmail, wave and alerts.
In buzz, you have followers and you can follow people’s updates which can come in the form of status updates or pulled in from feeds like flickr, picasa, rss etc… i suppose in that sense it’s a bit like friendfeed – it tries to combine all of your profiles and keep them in the one spot, but by doing so it ultimately adds to the clutter and noise…
Google wave has pretty much flopped. Nobody is using it. I don’t think that’s because it’s not useful, it’s just because it’s too advanced and too much like something from the future, which is of course a good thing, but it’s just not understood /accepted right now.
Buzz is easier to use and it’s built in to gmail, so that means it will get more use but it’s too early to tell how it will pan out. One thing that has struck me though is the complexity of google’s recent services… (on a sidenote, just getting back in to using photoshop, hence the fancy image below)..
They look and feel cluttered and i think Google are beginning to forget that simplicity means a lot to people. People just won’t use something if it’s different or in any way intimidating. A perfect example is facebook’s new layout. Personally i think it’s much better than the old layout – yet a lot of people are complaining. I think if they actually sat back and compared the two and really thought about the changes, they’d be more accepting but it’s ‘change’ in general which causes the problems.
Right now, i feel Google are moving too quickly and the stuff they’re launching is just too complex to catch on. Even though studying IT, I almost feel like i’m in a lecture or i’m an old person giving out about new technology because it’s too complicated for me 😉 First we had twitter integration in to search results – fine, then wave (that’s where we stare at each other blankly) and now buzz (where we all give up and go home)… it’s obvious Google are getting more real time and more social / community driven, which is good of course but it’s all happening very quickly indeed and these new features/services aren’t being given time to settle in.