How Google Buzz Has Been Drowned Out by Twitter

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-03-30 Print this article Print

Where have all the Google Buzzers (or is it Buzzees) gone?

New research from Chitika and Google's own insights tool show that Google Buzz, the controversial social network app, has quieted down since its Feb. 9 launch and subsequent privacy brouhaha.

Upon launch, the Chitika network saw some 1,500 searches for the term "Google Buzz," approximately 15 times the number of searches for "Twitter."

Buzz rocketed to glory at launch, but Chitika said searches fell to 580 on Feb. 10, followed by only 147 on Feb. 11:

Buzz Chitika 1.png

Google Buzz failed to break three digits on Chitika's network, while searches for Twitter averaged 87 searches per day.

This seems strange to me. After all, Buzz got a ton of negative attention because it exposed users' contacts in their profile Webpages.

Why wouldn't people be searching to read more about the controversial social service-cum-Facebook-and-Twitter challenger? I would think tons of people would be interested in that, particularly from those who follow Twitter and Facebook.

To avoid the appearance of any bias or misinformation, Chitika Research Director Dan Ruby said Google's own Insights for Search keyword search tool shows a similar rise and fall.

It should be noted that Google's tool measures all searches across the Google network, whereas the Chitika numbers reflect traffic from searches to a network of editorial Websites.

Ruby said that "Google Buzz" searches peaked Feb. 10 at 59 daily searches, but searches for Buzz slid into the single digits a few days later. Conversely, Twitter saw an average of 84 searches per day.

I did my own search using Google's insights tool for "Google Buzz" and "Twitter" and found Ruby to be right. It's embedded here:

Ruby noted that Google Buzz's popularity on Chitika compared to Google's tool can be explained by a high proportion of Internet users looking for information on Google's hot new product.

He argues the declines highlighted by both tools cast a measure of concern on Buzz, adding:

People would appear to be well aware of and interested in Twitter, not surprising given the four years it has spent building up its user base and notoriety. Google Buzz, however, seems to have failed to capture the interest of social media users - whether due to its well-publicized privacy issues or the fact that it's attempting to cram into an already oversaturated social media universe.

With more than 60 million users, geolocation services and an impending Chirp developer conference, Ruby's comment about Twitter is a gross understatement.

However, Ruby's study is about search queries and does not cover specific usage. Remember, Buzz is accessed through Gmail, so the fact that fewer people are searching for the term "Google Buzz" does not necessarily mean fewer people are using it.

But Buzz, which is also increasingly facing scrutiny by government officials, may be fading with so many users already engrossed on Twitter and Facebook.

Update as of 2:40 p.m. EDT: I reached out to Google for comment about use, and the company declined to comment on metrics for current usage.

Are you still using Google Buzz? Why or why not? |

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