Google to shutter Buzz, focus on Google+

By on October 15, 2011 at 1:30 AM.

Google to shutter Buzz, focus on Google+

Google announced on Friday that it is shutting down a number of properties in the coming months, the most notable of which is likely its failed social network, Google Buzz. Best known as that annoying thing under “Inbox” in Gmail, Google Buzz was a Twitter-like service that never gained traction. Buzz encouraged users to share status updates, photos and more that could then be viewed by friends in real time, however it offered no compelling features compared to already established services such as Facebook and Twitter. Google will also shutter several additional services in the near future, including Jaiku, a social network the company acquired in 2007, and Code search, a tool that helped programmers search for open source code. Google Buzz will shut down in the coming weeks while Jaiku and Code Search will both go offline on January 15th, 2012 along with a few other seldom-used Google services. More →

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Google reaches settlement with FTC in Google Buzz privacy case

By on March 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM.

Google reaches settlement with FTC in Google Buzz privacy case

On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced it has reached a settlement with Google over its controversial Google Buzz social network. The FTC charged Google with using “deceptive tactics and [violating] its own privacy promises to consumers” when it launched Google Buzz — its Twitter-like social network — in 2010. The FTC’s proposed settlement will bar Google from “future privacy misrepresentations,” and requires that Google implement a comprehensive privacy program. The FTC has also called for regular, independent privacy audits during the next 20 years. “When companies make privacy pledges, they need to honor them,” said Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the FCC. “This is a tough settlement that ensures that Google will honor its commitments to consumers and build strong privacy protections into all of its operations.” The FTC argued that some Google users who declined to participate in Google Buzz were still enrolled in some features of the service. Similarly, it said that those who did decide to join Google Buzz were often confused on how to control the privacy settings.  This is not the only lawsuit that was brought against Google in relation to its Buzz service. In November 2010 Google was required to create an $8.5 million fund dedicated to “promoting privacy education on the web” as the result of a class action lawsuit.  Hit the jump for the full release. More →

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Google settles Buzz lawsuit with $8.5 million fund

By on November 3, 2010 at 12:02 AM.

Google settles Buzz lawsuit with $8.5 million fund

Following a very, very rocky start for Google’s latest social networking effort, Google Buzz, the Internet giant has settled a class action lawsuit related to the service. When Buzz launched earlier this year, Google found itself at the center of a media frenzy. The company decided it would forgo an opt-in process and share users’ locations with each Google account holder in their address books by default. The decision turned out to be a PR nightmare — and now it carries a financial burden with it as well. As a result of a class action settlement, Google has agreed to put in place an $8.5 million fund dedicated to “promoting privacy education on the web,” and it is now in the process of informing its users. Hit the break for the email Google is currently sending to all account holders. More →

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Google adds requested privacy features to Buzz

By on February 12, 2010 at 10:47 AM.

Google adds requested privacy features to Buzz

Google Buzz Logo

Just two days after the initial launch, Google, based upon feedback from users, is adding several requested features to their new social media platform Google Buzz. The changes, to be implemented later today, include:

  • More visible option to not show followers/people you follow on your public profile
  • Ability to block anyone who starts following you
  • More clarity on which of your followers/people you follow can appear on your public profile

As you can see, most of the improvements revolve around privacy settings; giving greater control over how and to whom your personal information is shared — a concern/criticism that was quickly recognized by blogs and users alike. Buzz, as it currently exists, looks to be Google’s answer to Twitter, with a heavy emphasis on location awareness and your Gmail address book. We’re curious as to what your thoughts are on Buzz. Are you using it? Do you like it? Give us your musings in the comments. More →

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