Google Buzz Gets Some Heat Over Features

February 15th, 2010 at 12:00 am

Google Buzz Logo

It was only about a week since Google has launched Google Buzz. And yet, in this short span of time, it already has received a considerable number of complaints. Most of those complained mentioned the Google Buzz auto following feature.

When Google Buzz was launched by the online search giant, it offered a featured called auto-following. This feature gets first time users of the Buzz to automatically follow those people contained in their Gmail accounts. Google enabled such a feature believing that Gmail users would not bother building up their Google Buzz profile from scratch. But then, they may have underestimated how most people with react with such a feature.

People started by trying to check out Google Buzz with nothing more than to try and see how it may be able to be of use to them. But most then found out that it automatically has build up a set of friend for them to follow without their consent. This may have irritated a lot of people who believe that they should have the say on who to include on their list of friends or not. And from this, many people aired their complaints to Google.

Because of the heat they received just a week or so after its launch, the people at Google Buzz decided to do away with the auto-follow feature. They will change it to an auto-suggest model instead. Google Buzz users may now be able to choose who they want to include on their network through a list of friends and colleagues with checkboxes on it. This will allow users to review a suggested list and choose who they wish to follow from it.

This recent incident just shows how people still want their privacy respected. Although most social network sites have been working towards making online data more public, privacy seems to be still the social norm. Maybe most people in the tech world still got it wrong on this issue. They might need to still look further to better understand what is it that people do really want out of them. Trying to demand or impose things on people does not usually work out well in the end. People online need to have that sense of authority over their own privacy after all.