What’s that buzzing sound?

Google’s latest social media experiment recently came to life in the form of Google Buzz: a social media-sharing service built into your Gmail window. Buzz will let you share photos, links, videos and status updates through your Gmail inbox or your mobile device’s web browser.

Remember: Google isn’t really a search engine or a chat tool or an email provider. It’s an online advertisement-pushing juggernaut. And, assuming Buzz takes off, in just a few iterations of its development, this is the sort of Buzz-powered day you could be having:

7 a.m. Smartphone alarm wakes you. You quickly scan it for emails, texts and Buzz. Since Google knows you were at the bar last night, it offers you an ad for a hangover cure.

7:30 a.m. Commuting to work. Browsing your tablet PC on the train, among the emails, light web-browsing, and casual Buzz-chatting, Google serves you an ad for a new coffee shop that’s opened on your route from the station to the office. It also knows you’re late, and a Buzz-linked local taxi company Buzzes you to check if you’d like a ride from the station so you can make that 8:15 meeting that’s scheduled in your Gmail calendar.

10:30 a.m. Collaborative work-base Buzz chat on your current project. Buzz knows you’re working, so tones down the frequency and pixel-size of its embedded ads, and stops actively Buzzing you, but pops up adverts that match the theme of your work. Along with placements for MBAs from local colleges, since it knows your education history. Plus sneaky job ads that might interest you, based on your demonstrated areas of expertise.

12:15 p.m. Lunch. The local Buzz-linked McDonald’s Buzzes you and asks, ‘Are you hungry for a Big Mac? You liked it last week. Or maybe you’re in the mood for our lunchtime hangover cure special: A baconburger?’ A local gymnasium ad pops up next, with a special sign-up deal for new members valid for an hour, and a note that two of your work colleagues go there already – one of whom you’re friends with and the other of whom is more senior, as Buzz is careful to remind you.

6:00 p.m. Hometime. Idly checking your smartphoneto see what your pals are up to, Buzz knows that three of you are heading roughly the same way inside the next half hour. A local bar Buzzes all of you to suggest a post-work beer.

And so on . . .

  • gotnoteef

    I like the concept of this, from the point of view of making pushed-adverts and direct offers that are relevant to the user and timely – but how does it know what you’re working on, what you’re interested in, that you went to a bar last night, etc.
    For this to work, the consumer has got to sit and feed data in to the system – perhaps you have to set the alarm for 6.30am, so that you can spend the first 30 mins rubbing sleep from your eyes, slugging coffee and inputting today’s schedule and interests, so that the feeds you receive are relevant and timely.
    Personally, I’d take the extra 30 mins of kip and avoid to interruption – perhaps I’m past it in my mid 30s and this stuff is for the yoof.