Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

A Timeline of Buzz

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

Slideshow: 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.
Slideshow: 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.
Slideshow: 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).
Slideshow: 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.
Slideshow: 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.
Slideshow: 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.
Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe and become an Insider.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    Print + Digital Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

    Technology Review PDF magazine archive, including articles, images, and covers dating back to 1899

    10% Discount to MIT Technology Review events and MIT Press

    Ad-free website experience

  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Print Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.