When Google launched Google Buzz in Gmail in February, industry watchers who didn’t focus solely on the blatant privacy issues set to comparing the social conversation service with Twitter and Facebook.
Many noted that Buzz lacked a way for users to easily share buzz they’ve read with others. Users who saw buzz they liked from those they follow had to copy and past the content into a new Buzz post and publish it.
Google changed that May 27 with the launch of the reshare link, which lets users blast out interesting buzz with two clicks instead copying and pasting it.
Yes, reshare is similar to the retweet feature on Twitter that lets users propagate tweets they approve of to their followers. And it recalls Facebook’s classic share button.
Users who want to reshare buzz will click the reshare link, which expands the post to let a user comment:
Finally, click the “Post” button to see it rendered in Buzz, with the new post containing a link to the original post:
Google noted that the reshare feature will only work for public and not private posts, a detail that is probably causing a collective sigh of relief among those who felt victimized by the initial Buzz privacy issues.
And privacy concerns are a big part of why reshare requires two clicks instead of one, the standard set by Facebook and Twitter. Google Buzz Software Engineer Sam Goto said said Google wanted to let people choose whether to reshare buzz publicly or privately and to prod resharers to add their own new content to the post.
Other things to note about the reshare feature:
- When a buzz post is reshared vigorously Buzz will collapse similar posts.
- The names of all of the people who publicly reshare a post in a chain of reshares will appear on the original item, even if they’re not connected to the original author.
- Not everyone will like that resharing creates a new post, so Google is working on a feature that won’t fork the conversation.
Google also upgraded its Google Buzz app for smartphones.
Originally launched only for the Apple iPhone and phones based on Google Android 2.0 and greater, Google Buzz for Mobile now works on RIM BlackBerrys, the Nokia S60, on Microsoft Windows Mobile smartphones and on smartphones running the Android 1.5 and 1.6 OS (Hello, Droid Eris!)
Buzz users who own BlackBerry smartphones can also enable location awareness through their browser settings to make use of the Buzz Nearby view and see geotagged posts near them. BlackBerry users can tag their posts with a location.
However, Google notes that these location features might not work on some devices.
I suspect Buzz could be a big deal on mobile devices if people actually use it in addition to Twitter geotagging and check-in services such as Foursquare.
But I don’t know any Buzz for Mobile users who don’t work at Google, or at least in Silicon Valley. How about you?
I do know Google has big things on tap for location services such as Buzz for Mobile and Google Latitude, both of which should be integrated.