Google Buzz

Website review by
Conny Coon, Common Sense Media
Google Buzz Website Poster Image

Product no longer available

Networking site designed for adults is too open for kids.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 44 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive Messages
Violence

User-submitted content sometimes contains violent topics, but Buzz members can minimize their exposure by following only those members they know.

Sex

User-submitted content sometimes contains sexual topics, but Buzz members can minimize their exposure by following only those members they know.

Language

User-submitted content sometimes contains coarse and sexual language visible to their followers or members of groups they have joined.

Consumerism

There are one-line Google ad links on each page, and because it’s a networking site, there are limitless links that can potentially be available through the network. Users can link to outside websites, which frequently have outside advertising. Also, Buzz is an ideal platform for promoting Google the brand.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Postings about drinking, drugs, and smoking are common -- just as they are on other social sites that lack parental controls or moderators.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Google’s free social networking site and messaging tool makes adding friends as easy as emailing them -- or just accepting the recommended contacts from the service itself. Google's attempt to compete with the increasingly popular Facebook offers many of the same features and network-expanding focus of Facebook. However, there is concern -- just as there is with Facebook -- over a lack of privacy controls, primarily because it automatically integrates its web-based email program, Gmail, with Buzz, meaning anyone with a gmail account becomes part of the social network. Parents, make sure your teen selects “private” settings and opts out of showing the list of people they’re following and those who are following them.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJohn Dibison June 8, 2011

jhl

Alot like facebook
Parent of a 9 and 12 year old Written bybrown_eyed_girl November 11, 2010

Too open, too hard to lock down private info

As an adult, I had issues with privacy on Google Buzz. If I had a hard time finding the information to make my profile secure, I don't think most kids are... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySafemancam001 December 27, 2011

Don't let your kids use it

When I tried to use this website, it was too hard to put anything at all out there without showing information I want to be kept private. I basically just gave... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old November 16, 2011

yay

It's pretty good.

Is it any good?

Google’s social networking site has many of the same features as Facebook -- as well as similar privacy concerns. It’s easy to use, but lacks some of the polish other social sites have. Users can post information, connect, and share photos, videos, and links privately or publicly. Users need only an email address from Gmail (Google’s web-based email system) along with a public Google profile that -- at minimum -- includes a first and last name. Profiles can be expanded to include photos and additional information. Friends are added anytime you email them via Gmail, and content from friends of friends may be automatically added to a stream even if they’re not acquainted.

Online interaction: There are no filters or moderators, and everything here is an online interaction so content can run the gamut depending on the users.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about appropriate use of social networking sites and what to do if they encounter inappropriate behavior.

  • How to stay safe online. Even though it’s fun to share information and updates about yourself, there are some ways to protect your privacy online.

  • How social networks can be fun, but real life personal relationships are important, too. How is your online network of friends different from your real group of friends? How are they different? Do you share the same things with both groups? Why or why not?

Website details

For kids who love Social networking

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