July 18th, 2011
I’ve been using Google Plus for a week or two now having received an invite out of the blue, and I have to say, like most people, I think it has huge potential and provides a refreshing alternative to facebook. Google Plus is a much better thought out platform for sharing content and posts with specific groups of contacts. It takes the notorious facebook complexity out of privacy settings and enables you quickly and easily to target your posts, photos, videos, whatever to those you want to share it with.
Great, I thought, how easy and simple is that? Create your circles, add the people into the circles, post away. Easy. But then the more I thought about it the more confused I became. The more posts I read on the same subject, the more confused I became. Who exactly sees my posts and when? It is, actually, very easy and my confusion came about by making a false assumption, but I suspect I’m not the only one. To that end, see below for my Google Plus Circles For Dummies Guide!
Who Sees My Post And When?
Every time you post in Google+ you can choose who you share your post with. So, for example, I set up a circle with 50 users who follow the same football team as I do. I searched through profiles and anybody who mentioned the team name and that they were a fan, I added. Great, I thought, a quick and easy way to share information with like minded people.
Well, yes and no, but mainly no.
A Public Post
First of all, a public post is not really a public post in that it doesn’t appear in anybody’s stream unless they have you in one or more of their circles. It’s easier to think of being in somebody’s circle as being followed by them. It can be a one way follow, or, if you add them to one of your circles, a two way follow. So, choose Public if you want everybody on Google+ who has you in a circle to see your post. In addition, and this is where the public bit comes in, anybody who looks at your profile and chooses your posts tab can see what you have posted. In that respect, it is open to the public, but not sent to anybody other than your followers.