Google to put Buzz out of its misery

hands on review with google buzz

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.”

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.

Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Smart Home

Language barrier? Psh. Here's how to make your Google Home an ace translator

You can now use interpreter mode on your Google Home devices. This means, you can use your Google Home device to translate conversations in real-time. Here's how to use interpreter mode.
Mobile

Google insists it’s doing what it can to purge Play Store of malicious apps

Google's efforts to provide a secure and safe Play Store for Android users resulted in the company rejecting 55 percent more app submissions in 2018 compared to a year earlier. But the challenge is ongoing.
Social Media

Periscope tool adds guests to feeds so streamers can become talk show hosts

Periscope users can now invite viewers to chime into the conversation with more than just the comment tool. By enabling the option to add guests, livestreamers can add guests to the conversation, in audio format only.
Photography

Crouching, climbing, and creeping, the perfect Instagram shot knows no bounds

Just how far will you go for the perfect Instagram? A recent survey shows just how willing Instagram users -- and Instagram husbands -- are to climb, lie down, embarrass themselves or let their food go cold for the perfect shot.
Social Media

Facebook’s long-promised ‘unsend’ feature arrives. Here’s how to use it

Send a message to the wrong person? Messenger now gives you 10 minutes to take it back. After an update beginning to roll out today, users can now retract messages if they act within the first 10 minutes after sending the message.
Social Media

YouTube boss admits even her own kids gave the ‘Rewind’ video a thumbs down

YouTube's 2018 Rewind video went down like a lead balloon at the end of last year, becoming the most disliked video in its history. And now YouTube's CEO has admitted that even her own kids thought it was pretty darn awful.
Social Media

Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

Snapchat's drop in users after launching a controversial redesign has finally stagnated. During the fourth quarter and 2018 earnings report, Snapchat shared that the company is rolling out an Android update designed to increase performance.
Social Media

Skype’s new ‘blur background’ feature could help keep you from blushing

Skype's latest feature for desktop lets you blur your background during video calls. The idea is that it keeps you as the focus instead of distracting others with whatever embarrassing things you might have on show behind you.
Social Media

Twitter users are declining but more people are seeing ads every day

Twitter's end-of-the-year report for 2018 is a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that more users are seeing adds daily, the metric the company will focus on moving forward. But the bad news is that monthly active users are…
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Computing

YouTube beats Apple, Netflix as the most trusted brand by millennials

The popular video sharing website YouTube climbed up in an annual Mblm study, moving up from third place in 2018 and coming ahead of both Apple and Netflix in final 2019 rankings. 
Social Media

LinkedIn finally gets around to launching its own live video tool

Live video is coming to LinkedIn for businesses and individuals on the site. The livestreaming feature is launching in beta in the U.S. before rolling out to the entire community.