Google is eliminating Buzz, the company’s 18-month-old social network. The company will shut Buzz down “in a few weeks,” according to its blog post last Friday. The shutdown will allow the company to focus more on its newly developed Google+ social network and put an end to what has been its worst marketing strategy.

When Buzz became available in February 2010, Gmail users were discontented with default settings that automatically set users to follow their most e-mailed contacts. A member complained about how Buzz leaked her Internet activity to her abusive ex and his friends.

Google made changes to its privacy settings within the first 2 days of Buzz’ release. Even though the changes satisfied the privacy concerns of some users, members in general found it hard to trust the company and questioned its dedication to information privacy. The concerns eventually led the Federal Trade Commission to mandate annual privacy audits for Google.

Users can still access Buzz after the shutdown. They will be able to view their profiles and download it using an export tool called Google Takeout, but won’t be able to post on Buzz.

Google’s earnings report from last Thursday shows that its three-month-old Google+ social network, which is more like Facebook than like Buzz, now has 40 million users. That number has increased from 10 million Google+ users at the end of the last quarter.

Source: TaiwanNews

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