Google Buzz is a new social utility tool that helps you keep track of your social network activity through your Gmail account. Though Google just launched Buzz this week, the mobile applications for the iPhone and Android platforms were available alongside the main launch.
Google Buzz lets you view the social activity of the friends you already have through apps like Google Talk, alerting you to their new photo uploads and status updates. For each item shared, you set the level of privacy, combining social media sharing with personalized bookmarking tools.
The immediate availability of the mobile Google Buzz apps demonstrates Google’s desire to leverage mobility as a major contributing factor to the adoption and ongoing use of Google Buzz. As we turn to our mobile phones more and more for daily activities, from work to social networking, things like email have the ability to become even more central to our ongoing communication and media exchange.
Combining several aspects of existing Google applications and tools, the Google Buzz iPhone and Android apps work very much like the Web-based version found through your Gmail account. The added benefit of associating your Google Buzz behavior with your mobile phone’s location and saved content merely increases the convenience of Google Buzz as a utility.
For both the iPhone and the Android mobile apps, the primary tie-in with your phone is the ability to see what’s going on in your vicinity. Filter Google Buzz activity by what’s going on nearby, adding localized context to your friend’s social networking activity. This comes in the form of a Google Maps layer, so you can get a good visual cue for your location-based social activity.
You can also update your own status with your location attached, similar to geo-tagging a tweet. Those you’ve shared the location-based update with can see where you are, and even stop by to say hello if they’re in the area. This will eventually become more helpful to mobile users, as the social media shared around a given location will eventually become part of the “buzz” around that place.
As Google Buzz’s services don’t seem to directly interfere with Apple’s own services, it’s unlikely that Apple will limit the Google Buzz iPhone app at this point. As far as Google Buzz’s ability to change the face of mobile apps, we’re likely to see more of an impact on Android devices. Since Android is Google’s platform, Google will have more control over how Google Buzz can be incorporated into other Android apps and Google services.