Google has launched Buzz, a social sharing system built on top of Gmail. Lifehacker provided a good rundown of the Buzz feature set, the Google Tutor wrote up a set of instructions for getting started and HubSpot's Mike Volpe came up with tips for marketers trying to catch the Buzz. The service essentially allows (some people say forces) you to add a status update stream to your Gmail page.
The talk of a 'Facebook killer' was balanced by the realization that Facebook was in a position to turn and strike the first blow. David Coursey made the case that Buzz would never succeed as a social hub without a Facebook API and that Facebook should certainly refuse to cooperate. The battle is already over, noted John Batelle, who added that Google's position in social media is akin to Facebook's in search. Gmail has approximately 176M users compared to Facebook's 400M.
Challenges aside, there is a lot to like about Buzz. Tim O'Reilly is positive on the concept of combining Twitteresque following with an advanced email system and felt that Google was bringing other strong features along. Buzz will also use algorithms to filter down the stereotypical Tweets about breakfast, a feature that made Digital Trends' short list of top Buzz features. Mobile is now clearly marked on Google's genome and so a full set of mobile functions was simultaneously announced and analyzed by Mashable.
The remaining negatives focused on serious privacy issues and some people felt that social and email could be love hate. Gigaom looked at the fine line between convenience and intrusion in a system that offers both.