Google Buzz - first impressions

Muscling into our Googlemail accounts today, Google Buzz has flexed its virtual biceps to do battle with Twitter.But is it really prepared for battle?

Muscling into our Googlemail accounts today, Google Buzz has flexed its virtual biceps to do battle with Twitter.But is it really prepared for battle? Google undoubtedly has the bulk to barge over most foes, but even that's not a given - just ask Android, lying bloodied on the floor after the first few rounds against iPhone.At first glance, Buzz doesn't look like a serious contender.Logging into Googlemail this morning, I was faced with the Buzz logo under my inbox link. As the service has been rolling out gradually, it's been tough to find any contacts who're Buzz-ready – the day has been lonely, to say the least.

After connecting my Twitter account to it, I was hoping for things to pick up, with tweets piling into the Buzz feed. Sadly, the syncing doesn't seem to be up to scratch and a load of tweets suddenly arrived in one massive avalanche 3 hours after they were posted. Very useful.

So why would you use Buzz instead of Twitter?

Well, there's no limit to word count, but is that really a good thing? Frankly, I don't want to read essays through social networking; I want snippets.

There's also picture embedding, which is nice. But some Twitter clients offer that, and it'll probably become standard soon, surely. Video embedding? Not bothered.

Then there's its integration with Googlemail and your existing contacts. Er, that's not really selling it to me either.

If you're not already entrenched in Twitter and have fully embroiled yourself in the Google universe, you may think its a revolution. But for many of us, it's a clunky, over-complicated version of a service to which we're already addicted.