I like to share my personal experience of Google Buzz here, so people can have fair understanding of it. I also want to thank the team who created Google Buzz, as I truly enjoyed it.
Technically, Google Buzz and Google+ are very similar (or Facebook for the matter). Google Buzz, however, has many nice features even today:
- Google Buzz posts and Google+ posts are essentially the same.
- Great email integration, since it sits inside Gmail UI.
- Create a post by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Add a comment by replying to notification email. Works with every email client on the planet.
- Support search since day one, including many search operators, author:me, commenter:me, date:, posted:, from:, source:, sent: that Google+ still does not support yet.
- The same realtime update system as Google+.
- Variable width UI that can hold huge conversations.
- Google Buzz can share with contact groups, which are essentially the same as circles.
- Integrates with Reader, Twitter, chat status, and it has an API.
- You can follow any post by choosing "Deliver to my Inbox".
- Mute by person/source. Google+ still does not support.
- Buzz profile shows your posts, comments, likes. Google+ profile only shows your posts.
- Buzz posts allows you to choose 4-5 photos from a link (at big size). Google+ only allows 1 at thumbnail size.
Had Google released a standalone Buzz UI and called it Google+, there won't be fundamental difference. On the other hand, Google Buzz did make two major missteps: privacy and user experience.
Many people heard of the privacy problem with Google Buzz, which seriously hurts its reputation, even though problem only lasted very short period of time and affected very small number of users (Facebook had way bigger privacy troubles IMO). Anyway, the damage was done.
The second fundamental issue is user experience. Most users don't know how Google Buzz is supposed to be used, and few people bother to get it. Had Google issued a public beta for Google Buzz, both Google and users would have time to figure things out. The result could be totally different. Anyway, the rest is history now.
Google Buzz, RIP.