Google+ lets users 'ignore' those annoying people

New feature is less severe than the block option

Want to ignore that one cousin or co-worker who's bugging you on Google+? Now the new social networking site is giving you an option to do just that.

The new option will enable users to take a simple step to get rid of a notification about what that annoying person is doing or get rid of a post you don't want to see, said Olga Wichrowska, a Google software engineer, in a Google+ blog post Thursday.

"We want to make sure you can represent your real-life relationships on Google+ -- whether you want to connect with someone or not," wrote Wichrowska. "So starting today, we're rolling out a new option to Ignore people, in addition to the existing (and stronger) option to Block them."

She explained that while blocking someone means they'll be removed from your circles, they won't see anything you share, you won't see anything they share and they won't be able to comment on anything you post.

Ignoring someone is a little less severe.

Kathleen Ko, another Google software engineer, elaborated on the Ignore feature in her own blog post, adding that it's like saying, "I'm just not interested." Just as it is with anyone being blocked, the person being ignored isn't notified of the action, she said.

"Of course, in real-life there are also people you don't know, don't like or don't want to hear from. And we want to give you the ability to define these relationships in Google+ as well," said Wichrowska. "Ignoring someone is basically saying you're just not interested. Maybe you don't know them or maybe you don't want to see what they're sharing."

The Ignore option will be available alongside the Block option in multiple places on Google+. The buttons will appear in the Circles pages, the notification stream and in the Google+ bar.

And if that person mends his annoying ways, you can un-ignore him by going to the More Actions tab on the Circles page. You can un-ignore directly from here, or by adding people back to a Circle.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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