How Buzz replaced me with Twitter

    Since 2006, since the advent of Twitter, I have been eating cactus with varying success, trying to get used to it and use it. And furtively dreamed of implementing something the same from Google, the benefit of the usability of his other projects was more than satisfactory to me. Particular hopes were after the purchase of jaiku, but then they did not materialize. And now it’s already 2 months since the launch of Google Buzz - an improved microblog from Google. For me, this has become a complete note both Twitter and LJ. Twitter had a number of shortcomings that everyone knows about, but everyone (almost) suffers. Google Buzz fixed these flaws, and almost did not add its own;)

    Twitter flaws cured in Buzz

    140 characters

    The 140-character limit that has grown from SMS has become a legend. Some avid Twitter users, like myself, have noticed that they start to think in thoughts of 140 characters :) Even in other places where there is no such restriction. Even in work letters or IM. Needless to say, such an artificial restriction does not add value to messages. This is just the case when simplicity is worse than theft. To combat this restriction, users began to come up with various tricks: shorten links, extension is simple through some kind of "->", etc.

    Buzz is free from this flaw. The length of the post in the database can be very large, which, by the way, allowed him to replace the LiveJournal, which I used to use for something more or less long.


    If in one place Twitter was too simplified, in another - it was very complicated. The method of conducting discussions on Twitter ... a little not for people :) The reply mechanism is terribly opaque, and an unprepared user is simply incomprehensible. Leading a discussion to several people, especially not mutual followers, is simply unrealistic. In addition, reading another person’s Twitter without an account becomes almost impossible if he communicates a lot. In a mishmash of answers, one cannot find his own tweets. This, by the way, makes Twitter very unfriendly to RSS, which does not play in its favor.

    In Buzz, the comments are implemented with a solid tape. This is a cross between a complete hash of Twitter and a tree-like commentary system from the same LJ. And this is the easiest and most understandable way for people. On relative small discussions it works perfectly. A response system has also been implemented. The truth is not without jambs yet. Nevertheless, you can write a comment or a whole database, mentioning a specific user in it, about which he will be notified (if he wants to). Moreover, the databases and comments themselves can be read without having an account in Buzz at all. All this wealth is also accompanied by an RSS feed and an update of the comment page on the fly (which was personally checked by me in the discussion of one of the issues of Radio-T, and there the stream is still there).

    Insert links, pictures, videos, music

    One of the most popular Twitter user cases is uploading links or images. True, Twitter itself with its 140 characters is actively interfering with this :) But users have made many short cuts, as well as services for storing media data. True, from time to time, some disappear - others appear. Together with all the content. And behind the shortened link, it may not be at all what you would like to see.

    Buzz offers transparent integration with Picasa as a photo repository. Supports adding links to messages out of the box. It can insert videos from youtube or add a flash player if the message contains a link to an mp3 file. This is all done very clearly and conveniently. You don’t have to think about how to post a photo. True, working with Picasa is slightly strange. So, if you upload photos via the Buzz interface in Gmail, every day your album will be created in Picasa. And considering that the number of albums is very limited, this is not very pleasant. And this behavior does not add order to albums. I hope this is fixed someday. Moreover, when uploading a photo through a letter to a special address, it always gets into the Buzz special album. Now I just first upload the photo to this album, then add it to the database. But I would like this default behavior. Video clips, as far as I understand, are supported only from youtube so far, you have to give only links from other hosting sites. But the ability to upload any media content allowed Buzz to take away from LJ the last role in which I used it. Photos with comments can now also be conveniently shared in it.

    Privacy levels

    The last advantage that catches my eye is privacy levels. Twitter doesn’t allow you to make one tweet private. Either everything is public or private. This policy does not add flexibility. In Buzz, in addition to fully open messages, you can make messages for groups from your Google contacts. This is much more flexible, but still rests on your Gmail address book. It is also impossible to make bases for separately selected people without collecting them into a group. But the developers already know about this Wishlist, and, I hope, implement it.

    But Buzz is still a very young service. During its work, Twitter has gained functionality, which many are accustomed to, and which is not yet available in Buzz. This is part of what I would like Buzz to steal from Twitter :)

    • API and clients, mobility
      The presence of a normal API on Twitter allows people to write third-party clients that partially level the above disadvantages. Clients try to compose conversations, combine broken messages into parts, expand links and display pictures. It also made it possible to get a mobile client for Twitter on any platform. With mobile clients for Buzz, things are so much worse. There is a mobile interface on HTML5 that works on iPhone and Android, there is a widget for Android. All others are satisfied with the e-mail interface for posting, but cannot read at all. But with the release of the API, everything should change.
    • retweets
      It is unclear how necessary the thing is, but Buzz does not know how to do this using the built-in tools. Although you can just insert a link to another database.
    • Sheets
      Recently appeared on Twitter sheets are convenient for organizing your feed. Buzz now can only filter by authors and sources at a time, but not put the tape on the shelves
    • hashtags
      Another way to organize messages globally, widely used on Twitter but not available on Buzz. Although no one bothers to put them :)
    • search
      Twitter search is still faster and more accurate than searching on Buzz, oddly enough. Yes, Google is beating on its territory.
    • audience
      This is hopefully a temporary but significant advantage of Twitter. Although not technical, it stops many. Not everyone can just pick up and throw their billions of followers on Twitter or lure them into Buzz. I had the same situation when switching from ICQ to Jabber. But everything seemed to be resolved quite successfully :)

    In general, even now, Buzz is already a workable service, no worse than its competitors, and even better in places.

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