Google has detailed how its new networking service, Buzz, will work on mobile devices. It’s got some extra location-based features, though that’s prompted speculation over whether related advertising will follow.
As Blorge’s Sean Aune covered yesterday, Buzz is effectively a low-level knock-off of Facebook built directly into Gmail. The theory is that users can get the same benefits of sharing comments and links with online contacts without the need to visit a separate site. (To me, that may have some logic, but is pointless when it comes after other sites are already so well established.)
The mobile edition of Buzz is initially available for Android handsets and the iPhone, but a limited version is built-into the Google Maps app on other types of handset.
The main difference with the mobile edition is that your posts can be automatically tagged with your location. Google’s argument is that this will make things clearer for your readers, giving the example of a post saying “Great dinner!” and noting that with the geotagging, people would know whether to credit a restaurant or your home cooking.
Another, potentially more intriguing, addition on the mobile edition is a ‘Nearby’ option. Rather than show posts from people you are actively following, it shows posts from people in your vicinity. That could be useful, though it’s main use is likely to be for the extremely nosy.
The Android and iPhone editions also include a voice option. Open either the quick search widget or the Google Mobile App and you can simply say “post buzz” and your comments, rather than type the post manually. That sounds like a terrible idea: as much as social networking is about sharing your thoughts, the process of typing them out does at least act as a very basic filter against the worst excesses of verbal diarrhea.