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Google Buzz Launches: Their new Social Local Service takes on GeoTweets, Foursquare, and Yelp at once

Google has finally launched their answer to the frenzy of activity in mobile social local arena.  It’s called Google Buzz and it allows user to “buzz” about anything and publish their comments either publicly (to anyone listening) or anyone is they’re private circle (i.e. Gmail contacts).   They just posted on the Google blog:

Google Buzz available in multiple ways:  You can buzz about anything online since it will be integrated with your Gmail account.  It did not roll out to everyone so check your account regularly.  This is another option to share Youtube videos, Flickr photos, websites/pages, etc. just as many do today on Facebook, Myspace, or Twitter today. Therefore, it’s hard to say if this will take off, especially with the younger generation who is already using these other sites frequently.

What becomes really interesting is the mobile local implementation.  You can access Google buzz through your browser (buzz.google.com) or right on your Google Maps mobile app, (by adding the Buzz layer).  Users can post comments and have them geotagged to say what they’re up to and show friends where they are.  This is very similar to Twitter’s ability to Geotag your Tweets with your location.  But it’s certainly more interesting with the GoogleMaps integration.  In addition, users can post voice comments, which is not only very easy, but it can be more intriguing content as well.  This new feature can also function as a “FriendFinder” application that is built right in (similar to the Google Latitude layer).  The most interesting tie-in is the ability to post comments about a business and integrate them right to the business’s Place Pages.  I have yet to see this integrated on a place page, but I assume it will be in the user content.  I just finished a post about the frenzy of activity on Google Place Pages.  Since comments are often social related and “off the cuff”, the effect on a Business’s Place Page could be very interesting.  (Imagine:  “Hey everybody, I just ate the world’s largest burrito at Juanberto’s and now I feel like I’m gonna puke!”)  With reviews today, the owner has no ability to filter out reviews, what about comments…

Google Buzz is the latest in social mobile features.  Check out my other post on Yelp to learn about their “checkin” feature that is similar to Foursquare’s.  These features allow you to show your loyalty to a business and earn status, for both bragging rights, and hopefully deals at your favorite joints.  I am sure Google will be adding similar functionality soon, so keep your eyes posted.  This will be an interesting battle.  I am guessing that will lead to the continued fragmentation of content and the local search market and provide greater foundation for online reviews and comments.

Another interesting battle is for the trademark Buzz.  AT&T has recently announced they’re upcoming launch of buzz.com which will encourage customers to Buzz about a certain business.  This could potentially lead to a big trademark issue.   However, the current Trademark owner is Sony, for their Playstation Quiz Game, Buzz!  .  This game is like a home edition of the quiz games you’ve seen at your local bar/tavern.  In fact, Sony is currently in a lawsuit over the name with Buzztime Entertainment who runs these quiz games.   Will AT&T and Google jump in the game.  And don’t forget about Yahoo! buzz.  Will Sony care?  Do they have a case?  After all, they are different services…perhaps the Patent attorneys have all figured out that buzz is too common of a word, but Apple did it…why not buzz.

Has anyone seen any of the Google Buzz comments on a Google Place Page, if so, please add a link in the comments.  I’d love to see it.

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