Update: Google spokesperson Victoria Katsarou says Bradley Horowitz’s comments were misconstrued by SearchEngineLand. The company may build a “standalone” Buzz site, in addition to Buzz in Gmail. They are not removing the social networking service from Gmail.
Google vice president of product marketing Bradley Horowitz said the company is considering separating its freshly launched social networking service Buzz from Gmail amid privacy complaints. He told SearchEngineLand editor Danny Sullivan this earlier today at the TED conference in Long Beach.
Horowitz’ comments come at a time when users have complained that Buzz inadvertently exposes their closest e-mail contacts. Although Google made updates last night to fix the most glaring privacy issues, the very concept of inserting an online service for publicly broadcasting a person’s thoughts like Buzz into a very private service like e-mail is risky to start with.
So the company is exploring a way of making that distinction more explicit by creating a separate Buzz site.
SearchEngineLand misinterpreted this, taking it to mean that Google will remove Buzz from Gmail entirely. But that would be a fatal blow to the product. Google Buzz gained traction, pulling in 9 million posts and comments over two days, simply because it relied on Gmail’s existing installed base. The fact that a link to Buzz sits right beneath the link to a Gmail user’s inbox (see left) is a constant reminder to check the social network several times a day.