Google Introduces Disable Buzz Link to Gmail

Previously, Google educated Buzz users on how to switch their following and followers lists to private. By default these are set to public and so, anyone who views your Google profile can see who’s following you and who you’re following. This irritated a lot of people because their most used contacts were revealed to the public.

A Buzz tab is also added to the settings in Gmail. Before everything was all spread out: The switch to decide not to display your followers lists was buried in your Google profile settings, the “turn Buzz off” link was way down at the bottom of your Gmail window, and anything to do with private and public Buzz updates were inside the Buzz tab. Google has made things a littler easier by endeavoring to put all the Buzz related settings in one place.

Another change is that Google will no longer connect your Google Reader and your Picasa account with Buzz. Anyone who signed up for Buzz before had to manually disable this. If they did not, then anything they shared on Reader would be posted in their Buzz stream and Google would show any updates to Picasa albums and in some cases, even Twitter.

Perhaps the biggest change is the addition of a “Disable Buzz Completely” link. When exploring Buzz for the first time, people were prompted to set up Google profiles. If they decided they didn’t like this new social-media effort from Google, they could switch it off via a “switch off Buzz” link at the bottom of their Gmail page.

However, what most people don’t realize is that this link does not undo all of your previous Buzz activity. It merely hides the Buzz tab and stops the constant stream of Buzz updates to your inbox. Your Google profile is still live, all your Buzz posts are there and if you didn’t set your followers lists to private, people can still view them. This ‘out of sight out of mind’ approach has been replaced by a more permanent solution that carries the warning, “This will disable Google Buzz in Gmail and delete your Google profile and Buzz posts. It will also disconnect any connected sites and unfollow you from anyone you are following.

At least, right? Not all people may be fond with Google Buzz so this option is a welcome sight for GMail users.

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