First off, Yahoo! named one of the social features Yahoo! Buzz 18 months ago. Yahoo Buzz is a Digg clone where users can vote for articles. It also feeds into Yahoo! Updates which is the Yahoo version of what Google has named Buzz in that it is based around its email service (Gmail) and has similar functionality. Yahoo is likely to be displeased about Google using the exact same name.
Yahoo released a statement during the launch of Google Buzz with an update on the current status of Yahoo! Updates. No mention was made of Google’s presumably intentional name theft and the email, which can be read here, appears to be an attempt to gain some attention during the launch of Google Buzz.
At Buzz.com there is a site that begs further questions over the name “Buzz” for a social website. It is owned by AT&T and has not yet been publicly launched yet. On the homepage it says “Want to know the best places to go or businesses to call? Let buzz.com help you tap your social net for business recommendations from the people you trust most – your friends and family.” – sound familiar? Yes, another potentially big player on the social media scene. How serious they are will be put to the test with Google stealing their name from under them.
Again it seems highly unlikely that Google didn’t know about AT&T’s little adventure into the land of social media. I’d like to check how long the site has been there in that state but archive.org has become unbelievably slow or simply doesn’t work of late. Either way, there is no way someone in Google wouldn’t have at least looked at what was at buzz.com, checked who owned it or at the very least done a Google search for “buzz” where the site sits on the first page – I smell a deliberate attempt to undermine their competitors.
It gets murkier too, as I found this article from only a couple of weeks ago. It seems that Buzz.com is AT&T’s version of Yelp, which you may remember Google is reputed to be trying to purchase for $500m.