On Tuesday, Google unveiled its newest social networking service, Google Buzz. Tech blogs have been anticipating its release, speculatively debating whether it will pose a challenge to Facebook and Twitter.

Now that it's out of the box, techies can weigh its merits. The new service is tied to Gmail and lets users post status updates, pictures, and videos to the web. Unlike e-mail, users can send content directly to recipients or post it publicly. The service is integrated with YouTube and Google's photo sharing vehicle Picasa. As with everything Google releases, some think it's the next big thing.

 

  • It's Late, Boring and Lame, writes Dan Frommer at The Business Insider: "Like many Google services, it lacks any imagination or compelling reasons to use it. (Starting with the name, a rip-off from Yahoo.)...400 million people are already happily using Facebook, and tens of millions (or hundreds of thousands) are using the other services. Why would they switch to this Google service when there are no compelling reasons to do so?"
  • It's a Game-Changer, writes Tim O'Reilly at Radar: "AWESOME idea. There are many of us for whom email is still our core information console, and our most powerful and reliable vehicle for sharing ideas, links, pictures, and conversations with the people who constitute our real social network. But up till now, we could only share with explicitly specified individuals or groups. Now, we can post messages to be read by anyone...Buzz items can be shared directly in Gmail, but are also pulled in from other social sharing sites, including Twitter, Picasa, YouTube, and Flickr."
  • Great Mobile and Hyper-Local Features, writes Cory Bergman at Lost Remote: "Buzz has heavy mobile integration, spanning Google’s mobile homepage, Maps, Place Pages and Google’s mobile app... I think this makes Buzz a valuable addition to Google’s toolbox as it continues to push aggressively into the local mobile advertising space. Empowering local businesses to self-publish to people around them, with massive Google Mobile distribution, can be a powerful value proposition."