"Reshare" in Google Buzz
Posted by Sam Goto, Software Engineer
The other day I posted this video to the version of Buzz we use inside of Google. A few people commented on it, 13 liked it, and 68 of my coworkers thought it was interesting enough that they wanted to share it with their own followers. Collectively, thousands of people watched it, many of whom were many degrees away from me.
For the last couple weeks we’ve been testing reshare — and today we’re excited to roll it out to everyone. If you don’t see the “Reshare” link quite yet, hang tight. It should be on for everyone by the end of the day.
How reshare works
When you find an interesting buzz post you want to reshare, instead of copying and pasting it (and maybe attributing the original poster with an @reply along the way), you can now reshare posts with two clicks.
First, click “Reshare”:
A little more background
Reshare has been one of our top user requests, so we hope we’ve made a number of you happy. We realize that just as many will likely wonder why we decided to implement it the way we did. So, here’s a bit more background for those who are curious:
- First, back to those two clicks: one click vs. two click reshare was a hard choice (I know, it doesn’t sound so hard, but we spent a lot of time on this!). Ultimately, we chose to go with two clicks because we want people to be able to reshare publicly or privately and also encourage resharers to add their own new content to the post.
- If you follow a bunch of people who all reshare the same thing, the last thing you want is for that same post to appear over and over again. When this happens, similar posts get collapsed, so you should only see each thing once.
- You’ll notice that resharing creates a new post, effectively forking the conversation. To fork or not fork was a decision we debated for a while. Ultimately, we think forked conversations help create more varied, intimate discussions around a single item. We realize people may want a non-forking version too, so we’re thinking about how to do that as well.
- When there is a chain of reshares, the names of all of the people who publicly reshare the post appear on the original item, even if they’re not directly connected to the original author. If you share something that ends up getting passed around by lots of other people, it’s pretty cool to see that.
- If you “like” a reshare, you don’t automatically also “like” the original post. Imagine what would happen if I reshare a very positive movie review and write “What a joke! This movie was terrible!” Someone who likes my post probably doesn’t want their “like” showing on the original post praising the film, too.
Overall, we’ve made a lot of progress since my original ASCII mockups…
…but reshare is still very much a work in progress. We wanted to launch and iterate so be sure to let us know what you think in the forum or on Buzz.