Skip to main content

Google to put Buzz out of its misery

In the most literal example of a “buzz kill” we’ve ever heard of, Google announced today that it will shut down its failed social networking property Google Buzz. The company will now focus all its social networking resources on the far more promising Google+.

“We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+,” wrote Google Vice President Bradley Horowitz on the Official Google Blog. “Our users expect great things from us; today’s announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome.”

Related Videos

Now, most of you are likely asking, “Wait a minute, Google Buzz was still alive?” We asked ourselves the same question. And that, it would seem, is precisely the reason why Google has put the failed-from-the start product out of its misery. That said, Google doesn’t view Buzz as a mistake. Rather, it sees it as a learning opportunity, especially when it comes to user privacy – something Buzz didn’t get right, at all.

“What did we learn from Buzz? Plenty,” writes Horowitz in a post on his personal Google+ page. “We learned privacy is not a feature… it is foundational to the product. And this awareness gave us the resolve to design privacy in from the very beginning, which led to Circles for sharing the right information with the right people, as well as transparency around which parts of your profile can be seen by whom. We also learned how compelling it is to have meaningful conversations with interesting people, which we’re happy to see happening all the time in Google+.”

In addition to Buzz, Google will also retire Code Search, an open source code search tool; Jaiku, a micro-blogging social network Google purchased in 2007; the social functionality of iGoogle; and the University Research Program for Google Search, which gave academic researchers access to Google’s search API.

Editors' Recommendations

Perspective is a new tool from Google that helps weed out ugly comments online
bangladeshi bank heist foiled by spelling mistake internet hacking dark net

If you're looking for a human cesspool, there is no better place to visit than the comment section of a YouTube video, a news article, or really, just about any anonymous public forum. But now, Google might have something of a solution. It's called Perspective and it is a new technology from Google and Jigsaw (an Alphabet company focused on security) that employs machine learning to identify toxic comments. Once these comments are identified, publishers or users can start to weed them out.

According to a Google blog post announcement, 72 percent of American internet users have seen online harassment, and nearly 50 percent have experienced it themselves. "This problem doesn’t just impact online readers. News organizations want to encourage engagement and discussion around their content, but find that sorting through millions of comments to find those that are trolling or abusive takes a lot of money, labor, and time," Google noted. "As a result, many sites have shut down comments altogether. But they tell us that isn’t the solution they want. We think technology can help."

Read more
Snapchat is finally rolling out its streamlined interface revamp to iOS users
Snapchat World Lenses

Snapchat is rolling out a major update to iOS users, bringing app more in line with the Android version, which was updated earlier in January.

So what is so special about the new Snapchat interface? Well, for starters it's much easier to navigate, meaning that more people can use the app in the first place -- after all, it has long been criticized for being a little hard to navigate, which limits its use to those who are used to apps -- aka young people. A report from TechCrunch notes that making the app a little harder to use gives it an aura of being a "secret club," which has helped make the app cool but might not be so helpful for a company that is trying to broaden its scope and increase its revenue.

Read more
Google now lets users add moving text to GIFs in its Motion Stills app
google motion stills live photos app apple stabilization

Google is working hard on its Motion Stills app, and has launched yet another update for it. While Motion Stills is already an excellent option for those looking to turn Apple's Live Photos into GIFs, it now also lets you add what it calls "motion text" to your images, which can actually track and move along with motion in your image.

The app can also now create cinemagraphs, which use machine learning to freeze a background while creating a loop of the motion in the image.

Read more