One of the most innovative (and most popular) features of Google+ is what they call ‘Circles’. So, what is a Google+ Circle? How do you use them? I’m glad you asked!
Google+ circles is an innovative way to organize and group your Google+ contacts. It is most comparable to Twitter lists, and somewhat remnant of Facebook groups, yet far more advanced.
Think about real-life for a moment. You have family, friends, work friends, church friends, imaginary friends, classmates, etc. Not all of these circles of people necessarily cross over with one another. Therefore, sometimes you’ll want to share something with a certain group of people that may not be relevant to another circle of people.
For instance, you wouldn’t need to share some bit of class-related content with all of your friends, you would likely only share it with your classmates. Or maybe you have come across a very embarrassing picture of your uncle Bob and only want the rest of the family to see it.
I’m sure you get the point. Google does too, and they’ve made it so simple and even FUN to organize these circles of people on Google+. Thanks to some beautiful HTML5 work, Google has created a very stylish, smooth interface where you simply drag and drop your contacts into different groups, or ‘circles’.
One other benefit of the circles is also to reduce the amount of noise in your Stream. When you begin following a lot of people, your stream can get pretty cluttered. This is a common complaint with Facebook and Twitter. But with Google+ its easy to sort through the clutter by just selecting an individual circle that you want to view in your stream!
Quick tip: If you label a circle with an “*” at the beginning (i.e. *Imaginary) the people in that group will automatically be filtered to the top of your Stream.
This is just a brief intro to circles; a more comprehensive breakdown is coming soon!
If you have any questions about circles, or have some great ideas for circles, please share them in the comments below!