Clarifying what you share and how you're found on Etsy

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Original Post

sean11 says

Hi all,

We've made some important updates to help you control what you share, how you're found, and how you present yourself on Etsy.

1. Findability

We recently announced the coming of a feature that will help you find people you know on Etsy. Soon you will be able to connect securely with your email service provider and see which of your contacts are on Etsy, so you can add them to your Etsy circle.

If you don't want your Etsy username to be found by friends and family this way, for whatever reason, you can opt out by adjusting your settings in the new Findability section of your account privacy settings:

This upcoming feature is aimed at buyers and new members and is scheduled to go live in mid-February.

2. Circles

Circles on Etsy are about sharing and discovering the work of others. When someone adds you to their circle, they can follow along with your public favorites and Treasury lists in their activity feed.

Circles are just a few months old, but they're growing up fast and are here to stay. The option to disable circles and the activity feed has been removed from your privacy settings page.

You can control what you share when someone adds you to their circle with the existing favorites privacy setting.

If you make your favorites private, do not create public Treasury lists and do not add anyone to your circle, Etsy members who have added you to their circle will not receive any updates from you.

If you had previously disabled this feature, your activity feed is just being born. Learn more about circles and activity feeds here:,92

3. Profiles

Your profile is your "face" on Etsy. You can show off your latest item listings, favorite items, favorite shops, Treasury lists and Teams there.

But we won't force you to show everything. You can now turn modules off if you like via the the new Activity Modules section when you edit your profile:

Questions? Please post in this thread.


Posted at 1:30pm Feb 2, 2011 EST

Highlighted Responses What is this?

egoodman85 says
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DantesSpirit say:

While I'm glad we have the choice, it should NOT have automatically been turned on without our consent.


I understand this viewpoint - I can see how being found by your email could be seen as invasive. However, we made a big effort to inform every one of our members of what was happening. We also want everyone to be found by default - if it's easier to be found, people will make more connections, and thus will be exposed to more through their activity feed, and more items will get sold! So, it's a difficult call to make, and I totally understand why our final decision would be upsetting.

Posted at 1:53pm Feb 2, 2011 EST

egoodman85 says
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stitchntyme says

So after re-reading Sean's post, do Circles no longer have the ability to be disabled/enabled?!?!
Correct, Circles/Activity Feed are on for all users now.

Posted at 1:54pm Feb 2, 2011 EST

sean11 says
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ClockworkJungles says

I'm really happy that you are no longer required to show everything on your profile, thank you for that.

Can you please explain the logic behind no longer allowing people to disable their circles and activity feed?


Circles and the activity feed are really core to what Etsy's about, and will be integrated more fully into the site. Just as it's hard to imagine Etsy without a checkout process, soon it will be hard to imagine Etsy without an activity feed and the ability for members to connect with one another and share discoveries. Etsy is a marketplace, and markets are conversations.

The option to disable this feature was also a bit redundant -- if you don't want to share your favorites, you have the option to make them private. If your favorites are private, and you don't create public Treasury lists or add anyone to your circle, no one will receive updates from you when they add you to their circle. If for some reason you don't want to be added to someone's circle, you can discreetly block them.

Your activity feed is limited to your own activity and your shop activity if you decide not to add other members to your circle.


Posted at 2:16pm Feb 2, 2011 EST

egoodman85 says
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SissysArt says

I'm still reading but why aren't you giving us the option of opting out before it goes live?


Being found by email is not live yet, and you can opt out right now (Your Etsy > Account > Privacy > Findability).

Posted at 2:28pm Feb 2, 2011 EST

sean11 says
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uniqueartpendants says

If I turn off these modules so they don't show in my public profile on my shop will my favorites & treasuries still show in others activity feeds who have added me to their circle?
(I'm hoping so)

Thanks for your help!


Yes. The profile Activity Module controls are just for controlling which modules are displayed on your profile.


Posted at 2:57pm Feb 2, 2011 EST

sean11 says
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Hi all,

Just wanted to respond to a few things:

1. On the option to disable circles and the activity feed (now removed), note that very few people had chosen to disable these features. Less than half a percent of Etsy's membership, in fact. Maintaining a disable option like that with a feature like this is costly, complex and problematic. It's also unnecessary, given our existing privacy settings. And when only a handful of members are taking advantage of it, it can't actually be justified. Removing this option frees up valuable resources and allows us to move forward.

2. Circles has been growing like crazy, with triple-digit percentage increases over the last few weeks. Favoriting and purchasing from within activity feeds are climbing fast. Members who have been added to hundreds of circles are becoming more influential -- their favorites get seen by rapidly increasing numbers of people. Some folks here might not be tuned into this or particularly interested in this, and that's fine, but it's happening and it's changing the dynamics of the site and how items are discovered and sold. Etsy site activity is becoming more distributed and decentralized.

It's fine if you're not interested in participating. If you're a seller, it's just worth noting that a lot of item discovery is beginning to happen this way. Essentially it's becoming more valuable to be favorited, because more people are keeping up with other people's favorites.

3. The comments about whether Etsy is trying to be like Facebook, or whether Etsy should be more like Amazon or traditional retail sites are understandable. But Etsy is doing something new. Etsy is not just a shopping site, or a "social site," or a social network, or an ecommerce platform. We think Etsy is a lot more.


Posted at 5:45pm Feb 2, 2011 EST

sean11 says
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pinguim says

I don't understand this part:

"If you make your favorites private, do not create any public Treasury lists or add anyone to your circle, Etsy members who have added you to their circle will not receive any updates from you."

I enjoy making treasuries and sharing them, this is something I'm very willing to have be a part of what I share on Etsy. I go to great lengths to make sure they're beautiful and worth sharing...

I have enjoyed the circles, pleasantly surprised by how much they've enriched my experience here. This is, after all, about aesthetics, and it's wonderful to virtually shop with someone who's aesthetic you appreciate.

It would be lovely to be able to keep some privates private while still being able to participate in these new developments.


Sorry if that was unclear; just revised it. I just meant that if for some reason you did not want to share anything with people who have added you to their circle, you have control over this.

When someone adds you to their circle, they'll follow along with your public favorites and public Treasury lists, and see who you're adding to your circle. That's what you'll be sharing. But you don't have to do any of these things -- you can keep your favorites private if you like. You can keep your favorites private and just share the Treasury lists you create -- it's up to you.


Posted at 8:06pm Feb 2, 2011 EST

sean11 says
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PreciousSupplies says

Q for Admin:

For this new "Findability" thing, some of you have stated that it will use your "email" others have said if you opt-out you will not be found by your "username" in searches.

So, is it for both your email and username?


If you opt out of being findable by your email address, you will not be returned in results when someone with your email address checks to see if any of their contacts are on Etsy.


Posted at 1:31pm Feb 3, 2011 EST

sean11 says
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PreciousSupplies says

Thank you Sean. One last clarification/question then...

Okay, well at first I opted-out until I could understand this better.

Though, I may change it to allowing this. If I understand all this correctly then:

1) "Etsy" states that allowing your email to be used in "Findability" does NOT automatically give Etsy access to my contacts list. That would be a separate feautre/item that I would specifically have to agree to do.

2) Since my email is a business email address, that is a cool way to find me - if anyone knows my business email address. My only concern would be I don't want to get spammed by alot of people I don't know.

If it is just my business email address -- that seems okay.


You will not get spammed by using this feature.

Etsy will not spam anyone if you use this feature.

Etsy will not access your address book unless authorize Etsy to do so, by connecting securely with your email service provider.

The purpose of this feature is to help people find people they know on Etsy.

It's tough to communicate the ins and outs of this feature because it's not yet publicly available. Once you see it in action, I think everyone will feel a lot better about it.

We are testing this feature and the fact is it leads to amazing connections. It will change your experience of Etsy. We can't wait to launch it.

It required a change to our Privacy Policy however so we are not rushing to launch it. We have emailed every Etsy member about the Privacy Policy change and have let everyone know that this is coming.

All I can say is stay tuned. We will continue to alleviate fears about this feature until everyone can see it for themselves.


Posted at 9:47pm Feb 3, 2011 EST


PetalBeads says

Thank you! Glad we can turn things off in our profile now :)

Posted at 1:32pm Feb 2, 2011 EST

Woot for being able to modify our Profile! Off to check it out. :)

Posted at 1:34pm Feb 2, 2011 EST

thanks for the update. :)

Posted at 1:34pm Feb 2, 2011 EST

Paperika says

That's better! Thank you!

Posted at 1:34pm Feb 2, 2011 EST

I just updated my Profile, I love it!!! Thank you Etsy for giving us something useful. :)

Posted at 1:36pm Feb 2, 2011 EST

e5jewel says

Good to know the profile can be modified-thanks!

Posted at 1:36pm Feb 2, 2011 EST

oooh, oh, oh, just opted out of the Findability before it comes out. AWESOME!!!

Posted at 1:37pm Feb 2, 2011 EST


Posted at 1:37pm Feb 2, 2011 EST


Posted at 1:38pm Feb 2, 2011 EST