Google Plus makes gender a private matter


Google is making constant tweaks to its Google+ network, based on user feedback. (Park Ji-Hwan/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

The move was in response to user feedback, said product manager Frances Haugen in a video update announcing the change:

Haugen said that users will now be able to make their gender identification private, as they can with much of the other information on a Google profile.

Addressing how the network will describe users who’ve made gender information private, the company will use the pronoun “they” or “their,” as in, “Hayley updated their profile.”

“Yes, I know this is grammatically questionable. You don’t need to message me about it,” Haugen joked.

In addition to making the network more friendly to people who don’t want to share their gender online, the move also paves the way for more organizations and businesses to join Google +.

Social Statistics, an analytics site, says that network is 87 percent male, 11.5 percent female and 1.5 percent other. That “other” category includes several non-human profiles from organizations such as NBC News, The Chicago Sun Times and, yes, The Washington Post.

Related stories:

Google tweaking privacy on social network

Blog Post: Google+ may carry dangers for photographers

Google Plus lingo: What are you using?

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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