SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Google is getting ready to press the mute button on its much-maligned Buzz service. In a blog post Friday, Google officials said the service will have to be shut down within the next few weeks.

KCBS Technology Analyst Larry Magid said Buzz was launched in February 2010 with a little bit of fanfare and was the Silicon Valley tech giant’s early answer to Facebook and Twitter.

“[It] let people post status updates. There was a page rank algorithm so that it actually tried to determine which updates were more important or interesting to people,” although Magid said that didn’t always work out correctly.

KCBS Technology Analyst Larry Magid reports:

Magid added that one of the problems with Buzz was the fact that they endured a public relations nightmare regarding privacy.

“They were mining your Gmail list. They were sharing stuff with the people that you contact the most frequently and actually displayed people’s contact lists.”

Suddenly users found that people that they communicated with were being shared with the world, according to Magid.

He said Google fixed that problem eventually, but that the damage was done to their reputation.

Buzz never took off and the company essentially “replaced” it with Google+, another Facebook and Twitter competitor that has gotten much better initial reviews than its earlier counterpart.

Magid concluded that Google+ is making steady growth at around 40 million users compared to Facebook’s 800 million.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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