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Google Circles

Google Plus is the latest social network launched by Google on June 28, 2011. It gained great support because of its social networking attributes, similar any other social network like Facebook. Google Plus has, however, features that are unique to Google+ which makes it different. One of the distinct features that is at the heart of Google+ is Google Circles allowing users to create cliques or groups that enable sharing information only to people in those specific circles.

Google+ Circles have caused a bit of confusion in terms of how they work and how best to use them. Most users love this unique feature, whereas, some think it's not a big deal. Google+ Circles help you organize everyone according to your real-life social connections. Create circles for every group of people in your life from family to music buddies or alumni. Then you can share relevant content with the right people and find the content you're interested in. Circles allow you to share an engagement announcement with just your friends and family circles or find a post from a friend from your book club circle about a great new author.

Although Google holds it up as a differentiator, Facebook actually has a similar feature that lets you pile friends together in specific buckets-although, importantly, the "share only with these guys" isn't nearly as convenient. Google+, however, puts Circles front and center, playing up the premise that you don't want to share everything with everyone. And that idea is certainly true, but Google Circles is still the most misguided feature of the new social network.

The main problem with Google Circles is that it's tedious. It's one of the reasons we have different social networks (LinkedIn for work, Facebook for friends, etc.). Asking people to do this kind of organizing proactively, on a single network, vastly overestimates the patience of Web users. One of the biggest advantages of Google+ Circles is that you can create distinct groups of people in your social network so as to allow you to share specific updates or information with only those people rather than your entire social network. This a great feature because if you want to share updates with your co-workers, but don't want to bother your family with those updates, you can set up a specific Google+ Circle for your co-workers.

Another benefit of Google+ Circles is that if you want to look at updates from your family members in your social network, you can choose that particular Google+ Circle which will display updates from your family members rather than having to sift through a whole bunch of updates from your entire network.

Google+ Circles allow people, you don't know, to follow you, but you don't need to add them to your Circles. People who follow you will only see updates and information that you have shared publicly. This is similar to Twitter, but unlike Facebook.

Though Google+ Circles have some great advantages, there are some aspects that you need to be aware of, in terms of privacy, before starting to use your Google Plus social network. When you share a post or update, Google+ automatically defaults the last Circle(s) it was shared with, therefore, you need to check this before publishing a new update to your Circles. If not, you may end up sending an update to a Circle you didn't intend to. If you share updates to a specific Circle, anyone in that Circle can re-share your update with other people in their Circles, Extended Circles (friends of friends) or even publicly. However, if you'd like to disable re-sharing of your post, you can do so by using the drop-down arrow on the top-right of the particular post.

Currently, Google+ allows a maximum of 5,000 people in all Circles, but this may change given that Google+ is evolving almost every day with enhancements.

Considering its continuous evolvement, Jupiter Support understands the questions and concerns you may have with regard to maintaining Google Circles, which is why our experts are standing by to help you with the surge of inquiries you may have, such as the following:

  • How do I delete a photograph on Google Plus?
  • How do I share a Google Plus Circle?
  • How do I download pictures from Picasa / Google Plus?
  • How do I add a cover photo to your Google Plus profile?
  • How do I publish an auto-uploaded iPhone photos on Google Plus?
  • How do I turn off email notifications in Google Plus?
  • Help in managing Privacy Settings in Google Plus
  • Help with Google+ Keyboard Shortcuts
  • How do I invite friends to Google Plus?

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