Google April 5 will begin displaying its belated confirmation page to Buzz users who began using the Gmail-based service before Google changed its startup experience. Google also added a new comments collapsing feature, ideally to make the wildly threaded conversations on the service more manageable. Google went about privacy in a backward way with Google Buzz, and the company is still backpedaling to make improvements to protect users' privacy.
Google went about privacy in a backward way with its Google Buzz social
service, and the company is still backpedaling
to make improvements to protect users'
The company April 5 began displaying its belated confirmation page to
Buzz users who began using the service before Google changed its setup process.
First mover Buzz users will be asked to confirm or change their settings when
they click the Buzz tab in Gmail.
Google Buzz within Gmail Feb. 9, allowing
users to post messages and share photos, videos and links with fellow users.
But Buzz began automatically surfacing users' Gmail contacts in their Google
profiles, sparking outrage among users who opted in to use the service and
discovered that their contacts were exposed.
Google responded by first making privacy controls more visible Feb. 11
and then changing the following feature from
automatic to auto-suggest Feb. 13
, providing users with additional control.
This included a new confirmation page, pictured here
, where Google Buzz suggested Gmail contacts for
Buzz users to follow. Users had to agree to follow the people Buzz suggested.
Millions of users had already opted in to using Buzz by this time, so the
existing users didn't have the option to see this page from the start. Users
had to go into their settings page later and manually remove people Buzz
"made" them follow.
Now when the original batch of Buzz users access the service, they
will be greeted with the confirmation setup page. Google Buzz Product Manager
Todd Jackson explained in a blog post
, provided by Google in advance to eWEEK:
"This page highlights your current Buzz settings and makes it easy to
change anything you want. You can view and edit the people you're following and
the people following you, elect whether you want those lists appearing on your
public Google profile, and modify any of the sites you have connected to Google
Buzz, like Picasa, Google Reader, or Twitter. If everything looks good, you can
confirm your Buzz set-up with a single click."
Google also added
a new comments collapsing feature, ideally to make the
wildly threaded conversations on the service more manageable. These will be
detailed in a Google Watch post later this afternoon.
Meanwhile, Buzz is nearly 2 months old, but the furor over it has not died,
even it has dulled to a trickle.
Google won't release Buzz user numbers, so it's unclear if or whether fewer users
are using Buzz because of this, but the Federal Trade Commission
has been asked to look into whether the
service violates consumers' privacy rights.