Google Wave Gets a Feature for “Following”

    November 12, 2009
    Chris Crum

Google has added a "follow" feature to Google Wave. The feature is designed to let users stay up to date on public waves of interest. In other words, if there are waves out there that are available to everybody, and you want to follow it, simply click the follow button for that particular wave.

When a user adds you to a Wave, or if you contribute to one, you will automatically be "following" that wave. You can remove waves from your inbox by hitting the "archive" button, but they will come back when they are updated. Users can switch between unfollowing and following waves as often as they like.

Google Wave - Following

Google Wave - Unfollowing

"Public waves that are in your inbox simply because you opened them at some point in the past will start to leave your inbox as they get updated," says Google Wave engineering tech lead Casey Whitelaw. "You can also manually remove them with the ‘archive’ feature, and they will no longer return. We hope this will help with clearing a backlog of unwanted waves."

The "unfollow" feature takes the place of the "mute" feature, which has been part of Google Wave. If you don’t want a Wave anymore, just unfollow it. If you need to find a particular wave in the future, you can still search for it, even if you aren’t following it.

"Following is the first step towards a set of new tools for managing waves in your inbox," says Whitelaw. "In the future, there will be more control over what kinds of changes will cause a wave to appear in your inbox, and we will soon introduce better support for groups of wave users. We’re also thinking of expanding the following concept to let you follow people, groups, and searches."

If you have not yet had an opportunity to use Google Wave, there is a good chance that none of this makes much sense to you. However, you can get an idea of how Wave basically works by reading this.

Related Articles:

> Google Wave Simplified: How it Basically Works

> Will Google Wave Shape the Future of Online Communication?

> Is Google Wave Getting An App Store?