Reviews

Is Google Buzz on Death Row? Google Maps update makes me think yes.

July 6, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka

Android App Reviews, Lifestyle

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I know Google Buzz gets a bad rep in the press, but there are people who enjoy using it. Those people better enjoy as much as they can because it looks like Buzz will die out.

People immediately began wondering what would happen to Buzz when Google+ was announced, and today’s update to Google Maps may provide a clue about Buzz’s fate. Why? Because Buzz is no longer there.

Google Maps used to feature a Buzz layer that would showcase activity from the social network overlaid on top of a map. The comments about nearby locations are no longer present in the latest version of Google Maps released today. Florian Rohrweck first noticed this earlier today, and I’ve been able to confirm that the previous version of Maps still included Buzz prior today.

Want another sign that Buzz is on borrowed time? The Google Buzz widget is no longer in the Android Market. The Google-made widget debuted in the Android Market in March 2010, but it’s nowhere to be found now. Scanning the QR code doesn’t work and it’s not listed on the Android Market website of Google-created apps.

Perhaps Google is merely reshuffling things around, but it seems like the company plans to phase-out Buzz sooner rather later. I originally suspected that Google would wait until Plus was a full-fledged product open to the public and considered stable, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Removing mobile support makes me think Buzz is likely to die out some time after Plus is open to everyone. Google will probably release some kind of export or back-up tool and give users more advanced notice, but my money is on Buzz not living to see March 2012.