Google plans to add filtering improvements to Buzz
The Wall Street Journal reports that more changes are planned for Buzz in response to user feedback, including the option to block conversations and other filtering features.
Even as Buzz impressed some social media enthusiasts, it also angered some folks for various reasons — the most significant being that it's a bit noisy and difficult to sort through, and that it isn't quite as privacy-friendly as everyone would have preferred.
The WSJ says Google (Google) assembled important company figures into a "war room" where they discussed ways to respond to user criticism. The first results were the big privacy tweaks that went live over the weekend — an end to Reader and Picasa (Picasa) connectivity and Gmail (Gmail) contact auto-following. They also made it possible for users who aren't interested at all to remove the Buzz from Gmail completely.
Details about the coming improvements to filtering haven't been revealed beyond the option to block certain conversations, but we're guessing — or at least hoping — that the ability to collapse comment threads will be among the coming changes. That was by far the most requested feature when we pinged the Buzz crowd asking what features everyone would like to see.
There are a lot of improvements yet to be made. For example, unless you abandon the option of a vanity URL in favor of a numeric homepage, it's pretty easy for someone to guess your e-mail address. If you want it to stay private, that could be a problem.
We'll see what Google does in the coming weeks; we were expecting a large number of new tweaks and this update confirms that they're coming.
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