With disgruntlement hitting critical levels after hideous security flaws were uncovered in Google’s new Buzz service, the company has added swiftly to repair the damage.
Acknowledging users’ concerns about their contacts being made public without their knowledge, the lack of control over who could follow them and the inability to block people without public profiles, Google has published up a lengthy blog post explaining the changes they’ve implemented:
1. More visible option to not show followers/people you follow on your public profile
If you don’t want to share the lists of people who are following you and people you are following publicly on your profile, you can always opt out during the profile set-up when you first use Buzz or at any time from the edit profile page. We are making this option more prominent in the set up process, to ensure everyone who wanted to hide these lists can do so easily.
2. Ability to block anyone who starts following you
We are making it easier to block anyone, by adding “Block” links to the list of people following you. Previously, you were only able to block people from following you after they had created a public profile. Now, you can block anyone, regardless of whether or not they’ve already created profiles for themselves.
3. More clarity on which of your followers/people you follow can appear on your public profile
Initially, we showed you a list of all the people who would be following you once they created a public profile. However, only those contacts who had already created a public profile would show up on your public follower list. We’re making this clearer by explicitly distinguishing which of your followers have public profiles and will show in your public list of followers. With this change you’ll be able to see who is on the public list of followers that everyone else sees.
We designed Buzz to make it easy to connect with others and have conversations about things that interest you, and it’s great to see millions of you doing this already. It’s still early, and we have a long list of improvements on the way. We look forward to hearing more suggestions and will continue to improve the Buzz experience with user transparency and control top of mind. For more information about the choices you have when using Google Buzz, please visit our Help Center.
Will all this be enough to tempt you back to the service?
As for us, we’ll still be waiting to see how these changes pan out before risking a return to Buzz.Once bitten, twice shy etc…