A Timeline of Buzz

How Google’s social networking product, Buzz, has changed in the time since its launch.

Feb 22, 2010
Google launched Buzz with algorithms that automatically connected users to frequently e-mailed contacts. On the first day of launch, the screen above showed users whose posts they were automatically following and who followed them. It also explained that the service would automatically link with users’ accounts on Google Reader and the photo-sharing site Picasa.
Two days after launch, after receiving criticism for making it possible to see who users e-mailed frequently, Google announced that it would adjust its interface to make it easier for users to choose not to show their connections on their public profiles, above.
That same day, Google also announced that it would be easier for users to block people from automatically following their posts on Buzz, above. Crucially, this change allowed users to block followers before they actually created a profile and began accessing posts (originally, it was only possible to block another user after the fact).
The first round of changes also included restructured lists of followers to distinguish between those who have already started using Buzz (shown as blue and underlined) and potential followers who have not yet created a public profile (shown in black). Clicking on an underlined name takes the user to that person’s Buzz profile page.
Nearly a week after launch, Google announced perhaps its most significant change to the Buzz interface. It changed the autofollow feature to an autosuggest feature, meaning that users would ultimately have the ability to approve people before following them. The service also stopped automatically connecting to Google Reader and Picasa. Finally, it made the option to turn off Buzz much more prominent than it had been on day one. Google says that it will soon display this screen to users who signed up for Buzz at launch, in order to give them a second chance to manage privacy settings.
Google added a tab for Buzz in Gmail Settings, above. From there, users can decide whether a list of followers will appear on their public profile. They can also choose to hide Buzz in their Gmail accounts, or to completely disable the service. This change went into effect on Thursday.