Google Buzz is Dead, Long Live Google Plus

Today Google announced that they are discontinuing several products including Google Buzz, Jaiku, Code Search, iGoogle Social and the University Research Program for Google Search. I have to admit I am not familiar with either Code Search or the University Program for Google Search. I did however use and participate in both Jaiku and Buzz. Jaiku was a competitor to Twitter that never caught on with the masses. Google brought it in 2007. Google Buzz was seen by many people as Google’s first attempt to go social and compete directly against Facebook and Twitter. It allowed you to share photos, links, and videos with your friends and contacts. It was integrated right in Gmail, which many people found intrusive and rebelled against. Many of its features have been integrated into Google Plus, so having both seemed redundant. Once it shuts down in a few weeks you will not be able to make any further post. You will still be able to see your post under your Google Profile. You can also download the information using Google Takeout. It is an easy process.

  • First go to Google Takeout and sign into your Google account, if you are not already signed in
  • Create an archive
  • Choose Buzz under choose a service
  • You then have to sign into your google account again
  • Hit Download and you will get a zip file
  • Unzip the file
  • The outer folder will be named your gmail name -backup
  • Inner folder will be named buzz
  • The individual post are HTML

They are organized by date and may or may not have titles depending on how they were original post. Every time you try to open up one of the files, it will give you the this is a web application are you sure you want to open it warning, which gets a little tiring after a while. I wish there was someway to ok an entire folder. It is fun to go through some of the things that I posted to Google Buzz, it is a snapshot of what I thought was important or at least eye-catching at that time. The one thing I forgot about was how connected Google Buzz was with other services such as Tumblr, Posterous and Flickr to name a few. That has yet to happen with Google Plus and I have to admit I miss it. It is clear that Buzz’s integration into Google mail, which they saw as its strength was the one thing that people disliked the most. Clearly that is something that the team at Google learned when they created Google Plus. I don’t know if Google Plus is going to be successful over the long run (I hope it will be) but I see it as a step in a long road that included Google Buzz, Orkut, and even Google Wave. I suspect Google will continue to create projects like Google Buzz and Jaiku. They will keep what works and get rid of what doesn’t, much to both the delight and frustration of their users