Google Buzz, which launched two days ago, has been widely criticized for making the lists of who you follow and who follows you public by default. Until now, the check box to turn this "feature" off was hidden in your Google Profile settings - which many people never even realized they had. Now, however, Google announced that it is making it more obvious to new users that these lists will be public and will offer clear instructions to turn the public disclosure of this information off. In addition, Google now also allows Buzz users to block people from following them, even if they haven't created a profile yet.
Even though Buzz now makes it clearer that your public profile will include a list of users and makes it easier to turn this feature off, this remains an opt-out feature. We think that it would be far better for Google to make this an opt-in feature so that those users who don't read the disclosure information closely when they first use Buzz won't inadvertently share information they would rather keep private.
"Tens of Millions" of Users Already
In addition to announcing these changes, Google also notes that "tens of millions of people have checked Buzz out, creating over 9 million posts and comments." In addition, Google is currently registering over 200 posts per minute through the mobile interface. Given that Google is giving Buzz a prominent spot in the Gmail interface, this doesn't come as a surprise, but it also shows Buzz's potential as a mainstream geo-social network.