Circles, Your Circles, and Extended Circles: How Sharing and Notifications Work
Circles are key to Google+. They control what you see in your Home stream and who you receive notifications from. Circles are also used to determine who you share information with outside of communities.How to organize your circles
How you organize people in your circles is completely a personal decision, but there are a few things to consider:
-- Your circles are private.
No one else can see the names of your circles or who else is in the circle you might have put them in. If you want to put someone in a circle named "Annoying people," go for it!
-- You can put people in multiple circles so you don't have to decide which circle is the best place for them.
That means you can put a friend who you went to college with and also likes Star Wars
into a "Friends" circle, a "College buddies" circle, and a "Star Wars fans" circle if you want. (Note that each person counts only once so a person you put in three circles still counts only once towards the maximum of 5000 people you can circle.)
-- You can use circles as you would use email distribution lists.
If you want to be able to share with a group of people on a regular basis, put them into a circle.
-- You can manage what shows up in your Home stream by controlling how many -- if any -- of the posts from a given circle will appear in your stream.
You do this from the menu associated with the gear icon in the upper right hand corner of the In this circle
card in each circle's view. You can get to the view from the top of your Home stream. There is one option for whether any
posts from the circle appear in your stream. If that is select, a second option appears allowing you to choose how many. Note that if you put a person in circles with different levels, the one with the highest level will be used.
-- You can use circles to control whose posts you get notified for.
You set whether notifications are generated on the In this circle
card referenced above. Click the bell icon to switch between notifications on and off. You will be notified when people in a circle with notifications on create posts -- even if they are also in a circle with notifications off. Suggestion:
Leaving notifications off for most circles and creating just one for people you want to see notifications from is a simple way to manage notifications overall.
-- You can see all of the posts from people in one circle, even if you don't show them all in your Stream.
Just select the circle name from the top of your Home stream or the drop-down menu that appears when you select "More" to see a circle at a time.Your circles
There is something called Your circles
in Google+ which is not, as you might think, all of the circles you created. Your circles
is a subset of all of the circles you created. Most of us have circles containing people we interact with and other circles for high profile people (celebrities, etc.) who we might be interested in seeing posts from but who we don't want to share our information with. That's exactly what Your circles
You define which of the circles you created are part of Your circles
in Google+ Settings by clicking the Customize
button under Your circles
. When you then share with Your circles
, the posts or information will only be visible to the people in the circles you included in Your circles
Google+ also offers the option to share with Extended circles
. This can get a bit confusing so bear with me. Your Extended circles
consists of two groups of people. The first is people you have circled. The second is people who were circled by the people in your circles. In other words, if you circle me, then the people in my circles are in your Extended circles
I personally never use share with Extended circles
. Sharing with specific circles or Your circles
limits who can see your post to the people in the circles you select. Sharing with Extended circles
limits the visibility of the posts, too, but to an audience you have no control over because you do not control who is in the other people's circles. That means your post is almost public. I therefore see no advantage to restricting to Extended circles
and share with Public
instead. How sharing and notifications works
Sharing a post with specific circles, Your circles
, or Extended circles
makes the post visible
to those people. It means they will see the post if they visit your profile, however it does not mean it will appear in their Home stream, nor does it mean they they will be notified. That depends on their settings.
The post will appear in their Home stream only if they have included you in a circle which they set to have posts appear in their stream.
They will be notified if they have enabled notifications for the circle they have you in or if they allow notifications from people outside their circles. (The second option is controlled from Google+ Settings.)Sharing with Public and circles, Your circles, or Extended circles
Sharing with Public
means everyone can see your post (except people you have blocked). Adding specific circles, Your circles
, or Extended circles
when sharing with Public
therefore does not change who can see the post -- but it can have a very undesirable effect: depending on notification settings of the people you include in addition to Public
, it might generate an unwanted notification for them. Most people consider that spammer-like behavior. Many people uncircle, Mute
, or even Block
people for doing that. I therefore recommend that you never
add specific circles, Your circles
, or Extended circles
except in one circumstance. If people ask you
to notify them of your posts, it is okay to include a "notification" circle when sharing with Public
-- but only do that for people who ask to be notified; do not assume people want to be notified and expect them to ask you to remove them from your notification circle.#GooglePlus #GooglePlusCircles #Circles