Google Buzz Should Be Called Google Echo
When Google launched Buzz, there was a sense of excitement and the unknown. What was it? What will it do? How will it be different from other social media channels?
The answers are: it's nothing special; it doesn't do anything else other services do; and it's different from other social media channels mostly because it's a big echo chamber.
Validation about the lack of buzz in Google Buzz comes in the form of survey results from social media analytics company PostRank, who found that the vast majority of content on Google Buzz — just slightly under 90% — comes from news feeds or other automated sources.
The company found that 62.57% of Buzz posts originate on Twitter and conversely, users are automatically re-posting their tweets to Buzz so they to eliminate two step posting.
Additionally, websites are automatically posting new articles via RSS without adding any additional content, accounting for 26.47% of total content. Put those two numbers together and you're looking at about nearly 90% of content posted to Buzz that is regurgitation.
I think the issues as to why no one is using Buzz to post original content are pretty simple:
It's Integrated Into Email
From what people tell me, they like their social media separate from email. We like Gmail and Facebook, but we don't want the two getting busy and crossing into each others worlds.
It Doesn't Do Anything Different
Google Buzz doesn't do anything differently other than help you connect with people you email with that you might not be connected with on Facebook for example. There simple isn't enough user-value there for people to the service as a main social channel.
It Doesn't Seem Social
If you've spent five minutes in Google Buzz, you get the sense that you're just reading email. Now, does anyone think that email is fun? I think this is a primary reason FriendFeed failed miserably — there was zero value in terms of a unique experience and most of it appeared to be Twitter, Facebook and blog rehash.
So in the end, it's no surprise that nearly 90% of Google Buzz content is leftovers. It's probably a good sign as to why adoption rate is slow as well. After all, who likes to eat leftovers everyday?