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Google switches on Buzz firehose

More a streak of p*ss than a stream

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Google’s Buzz firehose trickled into action yesterday when the company opened up its data stream to developers.

The world’s largest ad broker has teamed up with Collecta, Gnip, Superfeedr, OneRiot and Postrank Analytics in an undisclosed launch deal to help splatter coders’ apps with Buzz using an API that Google debuted in May.

Developers and subscribers will be able to access comments, “likes” and the number of times a specific URL has been shared across the privacy-lite Buzz.

The Buzz firehose was the top developer feature request, said Google’s John Panzer in a blog post yesterday.

But Mountain View’s announcement is unlikely to, er, excite developers to the same degree as when Twitter turned on its stream of Web2.0rhea. It’s unclear how many people have plugged into Buzz, and Google remains shy about dishing up those numbers.

The in-your-face Twitterbook service crash-landed into Google’s Gmail in January this year, only to face howls of criticism from users about how much of their data had been exposed by Buzz. It didn't help that at launch the service sported several gaping privacy holes.

Some of those issues have since been addressed by Google, but the damage is well and truly done and Buzz is a tarnished product that the company is still struggling to bring fully into the Web2.0 wasteland. Perhaps the firehose will help.

However, unlike Twitter, we don’t expect to see the likes of Yahoo! or Microsoft’s Bing throwing big wads of cash around in order to be granted direct access to Buzz’s data stream. ®

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