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Wanli Yang
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I've seen a lot of questions about how sharing and circles work in Google+. Hopefully I can help explain how the system works, and how you can use it for fine-grained sharing. If you have more questions, ask them in the comments and I can try to update the post.


When sharing content in Google+, you have a couple options for who to share it with:
1) You can share it with one or more circles. Only the people in the circles you chose will see the post. [1]
2) You can share it to Extended Circles, which means your circles, and all of your circles' circles (kind of like friends-of-friends).
3) You can share it publicly, which means anyone can see your post.


With any of the sharing choices above, people will only see your post if they have you in a circle. So even if I share to my "best friends" circle, my friends won't see my post unless they also have me in one of their circles. [2]

Conversely, if I want to read my best friends' posts, just having them in my circle isn't good enough. They need to share their posts to a circle that includes me.

What does this mean for you as a Google+ user?

You know all those random people adding you to circles you? Don't worry about them, they'll only see your posts if you post publicly, or (maybe) if you post to your extended network. [3]

Fine-tuning your circles is really the key to making the most out of Google Plus. +Vincent Mo recently authored a great post about how to tune your circles for sharing & consuming: .

And, as most of you know, Google Plus is only about a week old! We're listening to all your feedback and writing code as fast as we can :-) This is one of the most energetic and passionate teams I've been on over my 6 years at Google. Expect a lot of great improvements, big and small, rolling out on a continual basis.


[1] By default, posts you make can be reshared by anyone who has access to read it. If you don't want your post to be reshared, you can choose to disable in the drop down menu in the upper right.

[2] If you so choose, you can view posts from people who have you in their circles by switching to "Incoming" mode in your stream.

[3] If you really want to, you can block people... but there's really no need. If you don't share publicly, they'll never see your posts.

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