Use Google+ Circles for Privacy 1

What Google is engineering in the nerd labs may actually impact social media on its own terms.

All of us operate in several different worlds at the same time. We may have friends from work, college friends, and many other groups. Luckily, social networks allow an easy way to keep track of everything going on in each different world. While Twitter has Lists, Google+ uses Circles, which allow both monitoring people and sending information to them.

If you are already on Google+, you’ve probably seen Circles, which you can add people to. They are listed in the left hand column on the main page, and you can use them like Twitter’s lists to keep track of what groups of people are saying or doing. Just add people to a Circle, click on the link, and you will see what everyone in the Circle is saying or doing. Google+, however, also allows you to send messages to individual Circles. Under the box to post an update is an option “+ Add more people.” By default, this is set to public but you can adjust it to send an update only to specific Circles.

This is very useful if you want old college friends to know about a homecoming tailgate, but would rather your boss not find out about it. This can also be used for business. If a restaurant has several locations, people in one town might not care what is happening to the restaurant a few towns over. Divide them into separate circles and send each group messages about their own restaurant. Your social network does not have to be one undifferentiated mass. Instead, use Google Plus’ Circles to divide people up into groups and communicate just with that group.