Google opens the Buzz firehose with new API features

Google has today announced a number of new application programming interface (API) features for Google Buzz, their social network which has been plagued by privacy concerns since launch.

The Buzz API -- which was announced earlier this year but was launched just last month -- has been continually tweaked by Google in an effort to encourage third-party developers to utilise the service in their own applications.

And now, in a move which Google says will satisfy many developers, access to the full Google Buzz stream of all public activities on Buzz  -- commonly dubbed the "firehose" -- can be gained by developers. Google says access to the feed was a "top developer feature request", and is powered by the "PubSubHubbub" protocol.

The search giant has even partnered with a number of companies including CollectaGnipOneRiotPostrank Analytics, and Superfeedr to demonstrate what can be done with the new access to the firehose, and developer Bob Aman has even created an app called Buzz Mood, which allows users to view the "mood" of Buzz users in real-time, similar to what twistori does for Twitter.

The "firehose" wasn't the only new feature announced by Google today. Developers can now access a feed containing a list of the activities a users has commented on, a feed showing activities which a user has liked and a feed showing the amount of times a specific URL has been shared by Buzz users.

Interestingly Google aren't going to charge developers for access to the "firehose," instead opting to provide it free of charge. In contrast, Twitter, another popular mico-messaging platform which Buzz closely simulates, charges developers and companies to access their "firehose".

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