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CNET News Video: CNET First Look at Google Buzz
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CNET News Video: CNET First Look at Google Buzz

2:18 /

CNET's Josh Lowensohn takes you through some of the main features of Google's new social publishing tool Buzz, which is being made available to all Gmail users this week.

[ Music ] >>Hi I'm Josh Lowensohn from CNET, giving you a first look at Buzz, Google's new social publishing service. Buzz is a new way to share and explore status updates as well as content from people you're already in contact with, using Google's webmail service, Gmail. Buzz appears within Gmail, almost like a second inbox. As a user you can post new messages as well as read through the ones from your friends. New Buzz messages show up just like new emails. You can also cruise through them by using Gmail's same keyboard shortcuts. Each Buzz can be public or private. You're also able to pick which specific users you want to send that Buzz to so that they're the only ones who can see it. Similar to FriendFeed and Facebook, individual Buzz items can be marked as favorites. You can also leave comments including direct replies to users you may not be friends with. Users can get their own special page where their Buzz updates show up, although instead of a new URL to remember, Google is requiring people to use its Google profile service. Each time you write a public buzz it shows up there. Then if another Buzz user interacts with it on the profile page, you see it back in Gmail. In order to help users hit the ground running, Buzz is set up to automatically follow people you've had a Google chat or traded emails with. You can also search through Google's public directory of profiles. Additionally, Google is allowing users to import content or status updates from a handful of external sites like YouTube, Flickr, Picasa and Twitter. So say you post a tweet or a new photo on Flickr it will show up as a new Buzz in your personal feed. What makes Buzz really different from the likes of Twitter and Facebook is it has a recommendation engine. Each time you like or hide a post, Google keeps track of that. As you begin to use the service more, it learns your taste about what sources you trust and what kind of content you tend to like more than others. In turn it will recommend incoming items saving you from having to weed through a few hundred messages at a time. So is Buzz a Twitter or Facebook killer? It certainly shares features with both of those social networks. Where it stands to make a much bigger dent than either of those two services is becoming deeply integrated into Google's many other products, as Google has done with its chat and Picasa image hosting services. Given that and what will likely be prominent placement in Google search results, expect to see [background music] a lot of Buzz in 2010. I'm Josh Lowensohn and this has been a first look at Google Buzz. [music]

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