How Clicking “Learn More” Makes Private Events Public on Google+

July 2, 2012 by Lisa Oshima | Developers, Events, Mobile

Last week at Google I/O, Google announced improvements to the Google+ experience including improved tablet apps for Android and iOS and a new “events” feature. The new “Events” feature puts Google+ in direct competition with other popular event management solutions like Facebook Events and Evite.  It allows users to create and manage public or private events, and it allows attendees of those events to post pictures to the event, which other attendees can see.  It’s awesome…except for when it makes your private event public, as I discovered when I gave Google+ Events a whirl…

Overall, Google+ is a great improvement on other event sharing software because it allows you to share pictures of the event even with other attendees, even if they aren’t in your circle – something Evite and others haven’t figured out how to do well.  Unfortunately, as I discovered, private events don’t always stay that way… If you click “Learn More” link next to “Make this an event on air” (under “Event Options” > “Advanced” as shown next to the red arrow in the picture, below), you don’t just learn what an “On Air” event is, you actually create one.  If, like most people, you have no idea what an “On Air” event is when you click the “learn more” icon, Google+ shows you the hard way… “On Air” events are visible to everyone in your Google+ circles.

The worst part about this bug, is that you don’t even know that you’ve erroneously created an “On Air” event until someone in one of your circles RSVPs or posts a comment to the event they weren’t invited to… There is no obvious notification that you’ve made the event public.  Imagine inviting a few friends to an intimate dinner party at your place only to discover that the event (and your address) were erroneously published so that everyone in your circles could see it. Ouch.

Fingers crossed, it’ll be fixed soon.

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