Google Buzz brings social networking to Gmail

Google has just pulled the covers off a new service called Buzz, a social networking add-on to Gmail which appears to take a leaf or two out of Twitte

Google has just pulled the covers off a new service called Buzz, a social networking add-on to Gmail which appears to take a leaf or two out of Twitter's book.

Appearing as a new option under your inbox link in your email, Buzz will automatically connect you with the contacts you email and IM, giving you the option to add more as you go.

Similar to Facebook and Twitter, Buzz will allow you to post updates but with no character limitation, promising to go "beyond status messages" by the way it adds photos and videos into the mix as well.

These extras are pulled from links you post so they can be viewed within your message rather than on the site they originated from, and you can also share your photos from the likes of Flickr and Picasa in full-sized albums – once again, directly under your "buzz".

Alongside photos and video, you'll also be able to pull content from other places such as Google Reader and Twitter so your friends can keep up to date with what you're doing elsewhere on the web.

As for privacy, when you update your status you can decide whether to share it with everyone or just your group of friends, and when you receive a comment on something you post, it'll be forwarded to your inbox so you know you've had a response.

Once received, you'll be able to reply to it directly from your mail, and also @ reply (sound familiar?) friends in your posts so they get a notification of it as well.

You'll also get the occasional "Recommended" buzz cropping up in your feed, offering you a chance to widen your buzz circle to other people who post things you might like. This will often be based on something your friends have commented on for example, although you'll be able to see why each one was recommended to you as and when they come in.

Finally of course the icing on the cake is a phone app, so you can keep buzzing wherever you are.

You'll be able to check out what your friends, or people in your area are talking about, as each buzz will be paired with a geotag to pinpoint your activity on Google Maps.

Google Buzz is supposed to be rolling out now so keep checking your account to see if its been added. Until then you can check out Google Buzz in the official video and website – be sure to let us know what you think below.

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