There’s so much Twitter can’t do…
That simplicity has made Twitter a huge hit. But “simple” usually means “limited,” and Twitter is no exception. Your messages can’t be longer than 140 characters. There’s no text formatting. You can’t paste in photos or videos. There’s no filtering of messages. No way to rank or rate people or their utterances. No way to send messages out to canned groups of people, like Family or Co-workers.
There’s so much Google Buzz can do…
Google Buzz overcomes all of that. It’s a lot like Twitter (with huge helpings of FriendFeed.com thrown in), but there’s no length limit on your messages. You can search for messages, give certain ones a “thumbs up” (you click a button labeled Like as you do in Facebook). You can forward messages by e-mail. Comments and replies to a certain post remain attached to it, clumped together as a conversation. You can link to your Flickr, Picasa or YouTube accounts, making it easy to drop a photo or a video link into a Buzz posting.
You can also post messages to your Buzz account by e-mail, which is great when you’re on the move.
So a traditional feature checklist comparison would lead you to say Buzz is the clear winner. But then there’s the problem that comes with doing all that stuff: confusion.
In eliminating the Twitterish bare-bones simplicity, Google stepped right splat into the opposite problem: dizzying complexity. At the moment, it’s not so much Google Buzz as Google “Huh?”s.
Sometimes all that stuff your product does NOT do is exactly why people want it.