You might’ve written off Google Buzz by now and, admittedly, we could’ve had a little something to do with it. But Google hasn’t given up on the microblogging tool just yet. In fact, the team’s latest announcement may wash over some of you in an awesome, relief-tinted wave.
"We’ve heard loud and clear that buzz in your inbox can get noisy -- we feel it too, and we’re working on two features to help with this," wrote the Buzz team on Thursday.
The upcoming changes are as follows:
1. Settings to control what appears in your inbox:
Oh, hallelujah. Soon, users will be able to choose whether or not the following buzz items get sent to their inbox:
- Comments on your posts
- Comments on posts after you comment on them
- Comments on posts after you are @replied on them
2. Explanations for why posts get sent to your inbox and a “Mute” link
Understand the method behind the madness. Google is adding a message to the top of each post that appears in an inbox to let users know exactly why it's there (someone commented on your post, you were @replied, etc.)
Don't want to participate in a particular conversation? Now you don't have to. The team is also adding a “mute” link that will stop subsequent comments from bringing the conversation back to you.
Not So Noisy Anymore
It's interesting that Google is taking this turn with Buzz because the original point of the tool was to inspire conversation. This is not to say we don't like having options, but we do wonder what Buzz's main selling point will be now that the volume's been turned down.
Google is currently testing the new features to make sure they'll work in all 50+ Gmail languages, so we should hear about the official launch sometime within the next few days. Moreover, Big G says these are just the first in series of features designed to help control Google Buzz, so keep a lookout for more news here.