Gmail-Free Version of Buzz Being Considered

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Update: In case there is any confusion, Google will not be taking Buzz out of Gmail. The company issued this statement after some confusion in the blogosphere:

No, we're not planning to remove Buzz from Gmail. Among some of the features we're considering is building a standalone Buzz experience in addition to the one in Gmail at some point in the future.

Original Article: There's no question that Google Buzz has been the topic of the week. Google took the tech and social media industries by storm as it launched its new social media product.

Already, Buzz has shown a great deal of potential, but it has also created more than a few problems and concerns. Privacy has been the key concern. The most heavily publicized and perhaps most illustrative example of this can be found in this story from a woman who was automatically connected with her abusive ex-husband. Her post begins...

I use my private Gmail account to email my boyfriend and my mother.

There's a BIG drop-off between them and my other "most frequent" contacts.

You know who my third most frequent contact is?

My abusive ex-husband...

Google is rolling out additional privacy adjustments to Buzz, reportedly in response to this woman's post. People you block in Buzz still show up as following you in Google Reader and there has been no ability to block people from Google Reader, but Google is working on changing both of these. Google has issued a statement to this effect.

On another Buzz-related note, Danny Sullivan reports that Google is also considering a version of Buzz that would be independent from Gmail:

“It’s clear that interest in Buzz may extend beyond the current Gmail base, and we’re open to serving that community,” said Bradley Horowitz, Google’s VP of Product Marketing, when I spoke to him about some Buzz issues at the TED Conference.

Horowitz stressed that Google would still offer a version of Buzz within Gmail, in addition to any independent version.

“We think that Buzz within Gmail is a great experience, and we’ll keep offering that as well,” Horowitz said.

Google Buzz may have gotten off to kind of a rocky start in some aspects, but many others have paid the service plenty of praise. Google said as it was announced that it was only the first version, and they were counting on user feedback to help them improve it. At least they appear to be making good on that.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.