Google's introduction of Google Buzz came on short notice, but it's no small announcement. The search giant is looking to change social networking by integrating it into services that Google enthusiasts already use, such as Gmail, Google Maps and Google Profile. Here's a visual tour of Google Buzz's key features, both for computers and mobile phones.
We apologize in advance for the quality of these images. They came from the presentation Google broadcast to the media over the Web. We hope to soon bring you a more in-depth look at Google Buzz once we start using it. In this image from Google's press event, Vice President of Product Management Bradley Horowitz demonstrates how Google Buzz works.
A Splash Page For Now
This is the first thing you see when visiting the Web Site for Google Buzz. You'll have the option to opt in, but don't be alarmed if you don't see anything different; Google says it'll be a few days before Buzz rolls out to the world.
Big, Fast Photos
Photos included in other people's Buzz updates look like thumbnails at first, but you can click one to view them all as a gallery. Images appear against a darkened background with a thin navigation strip on the bottom.
A Recommendation From Google
In addition to showing Buzz updates from your followed friends, Google Buzz will occasionally pull in updates from outside your immediate group, such as an active conversation involving some friends and some people you aren't following.
Recommendations? Who Needs 'Em?
When you get a recommendation, Google Buzz tells you why. If you're not interested, say so, and Google Buzz will learn your preferences over time.
Sharing a Video
Much like the YouTube Previews feature in Gmail Labs, videos in Google Buzz are shown as thumbnails, which can be expanded and played inline.
Public or Private?
Google noticed how some people keep one social network private and another public, and aimed to combine both worlds. Each update can be set to either a small group of friends or the entire world.
Into Google Profile
Updates set as public are automatically posted in your Google Profile for the world to see. They're also indexed in Google Search.
The Familiar “@”
Taking a page from Twitter, Google Buzz lets you get someone's attention with the “@” symbol. Enter it, then start typing a person's name to bring up an auto-complete list, just like the one in Gmail. Buzz updates with the symbol “@” automatically appear in that person's e-mail inbox.
Instant Buzz from Google's Home Page
See that little speech bubble on the top right of Google's home page? Tap it, and you can immediately post a buzz using a keyboard or voice recognition.
Google Knows Where You Are
Using GPS, Google Buzz detects your location and asks you to confirm it. Once you've done this, Buzz updates are geotagged for your friends and others around you to see.
Multiple Choice for City Dwellers
GPS can't always tell exactly where you are, especially when you're in a place that's loaded with points of interest. In those cases, you'll get a list of locations to choose from.
Google Place Pages Get Buzzed
Buzz is Google's way of adding more information to Place Pages, a business directory with directions, hours, user reviews and other details. It's like Yelp without the ratings system.
Buzzes, Buzzes Everywhere
Users of Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile phones can find Buzz updates in Google's Mobile Maps application. Clicking on those little speech bubbles brings up thoughts from anyone who's made their buzzes public.
A New Layer for Google Maps
Google Mobile Maps Users can already tweak the settings of their maps to show different things. Buzz will become a new layer, allowing you to show or hide those little speech bubbles.
Photo Sharing Made Easy
Adding a photo to a Buzz update from your phone is as simple as selecting from these three options. That's it.
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