Circles is one of the things that really sets Google+ apart from other social networks. In Facebook for example, your friends are your friends – It doesn’t matter if that person’s the janitor you sometimes talk to or your best friend from childhood.
In Google+, you can create circles and put different people in different circles. You can then choose to share things only to certain people and not to others. For example, you might share only professional updates with your work contacts, while sharing photos of a night out with your friend circle.
The people in your circles won’t know what circles you put them in. It gives you a whole lot of control over your data, without any potentially embarrassing situations.
Here’s how to use Google+’s circles feature.
Step 1: Click Circles
To access your circles settings, hover your mouse over “Home” in the left navigation.
Then click on “People”.
You’ll see a screen of the people who are already in your circles.
Step 2: See Potential Friends
Click on “Have you in circles” to see who added you to their circles. You can think of these as your “friend requests.”
Step 3: Drag and Drop Into Circles
To add someone to a circle, just drag and drop them into the circles along the bottom.
Step 4: Create a New Circle
To create a new circle, click or drag and drop into the “+” circle. If you hover your mouse over it, you will see this:
The create circle box will pop up. Choose a name for your new circle, then either add people to the circle or create an empty circle.
Step 5: Adding by Search
If you want to add someone who hasn’t already added you, do a search for them along the left bar, right under “People”.
Click on the name to go to their profile page. Then click “Add to circles” to add them to a circle.
Step 6: Circle Specific Stream
Want to only see photos and updates from your friends? Or want to see what your family is up to? Google+ makes it easy to see only updates from the people you want to see updates from.
On the top bar navigation of your home screen, just click one of the circles whose streams you want to see. Google+ will update and only display updates from people in those circles.
Step 7: Circle-Specific Posts
To post an update to only certain circles, click on the “Share what’s new” box and start writing a post. A box with who can view your post will pop up.
To remove a circle, click the small “x” in the top right corner. To add a circle that can see your post, click “Add more people.”
You now learned how to see who’s in your circle, who’s added you to their circles, how to add people to your own circles, how to create a new circle, how to add people who didn’t add you to a circle using search, how to sort your stream by circles and how to post to only specific circles.
Google+’s circles features really makes it easy to use social networking without “leaking” updates you don’t leaked to the wrong people. It allows you to connect with the different people in your life in different ways.