What are ‘Google Circles’? The Ultimate Guide!

 

Google Circles

Google Circles are a central feature to Google Plus and in this user guide you will get a step-by-step approach to how you have use them best to tailor your experience even more.

 

What then are Google Circles?

Google Circles are a way to group people together based around the relation you have with people. You may have circles for different members of your family, work colleagues, interest groups etc.
Below is the system I use to tame the flow in my Stream…

So, how do you find your circles on Google Plus?

Click on ‘people’ on the left hand bar…

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 15.23.11
Once you’ve clicked, you will find yourself on the screen below…

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 15.25.13

On this screen, you can connect with people with whom you want e.g. school and University contacts, as well as other suggestions from contacts.

Next, click on ‘your circles’ at the top bar to get to the page where you can organise your circles…

Google Circles

You can also decrease/increase circle size. Also view ‘blocked’ and ‘ignored’ contacts as well.

If you select a contact, you will see which circles people are in – you can tell this as the circles have a bold surround e.g. the notify and Kawasaki promotions below have Guy Kawaski.

If you select an individual, related circles 'light up'

How do you add people into circles within this section?

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 16.01.12 To add a person, simply click on ‘Add a person’ to a circle – this one is empty, but you can add them into ones with other people in already in the same way.

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 16.02.53 Or you can select a few people from your circles already, as below…

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 16.03.29 Then you just drag and drop the contacts into the circle you want them to be in…

How do you edit, delete or share circles?

When you hover over a circle you will see three icons:

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 16.04.27

The pen is ‘edit’ - click this to change the name of the circle
The arrow is ‘share’ – click this and you can share the circle to other people
The bin is ‘delete’ - this, well, deletes the circle

 

How else can you add people into circles?

Anytime you hover over someones name and they light up (i.e. are hyperlinked) then you can add them into a circle then and there.

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 15.56.20The hover over the section (in green as I already have Denis in circles) and you will see a drop down…

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 15.56.36 Simply check the box to add the person to the circles you want.

How do circles affect the content you see on Google Plus?

The content you see in ‘Home Stream’ your Google Plus stream comes from three places:

1. The people you add to ‘circles’

2. The communities to which you belong, and…

3. ‘What’s hot’ list

Each of these three create content flows into your ‘Home Stream’ based upon the settings you have for each and every one.

As you can see below, I am illustrating this using my ‘notify’ circle – this is a circle I’ve set up for people whose content I dont want to miss.

You see the bell is ‘red’ – this means notify. Also, you see the ‘show posts in Home stream’ box is checked? Well, this added to ‘More’ as the option determines how much content I will receive in my home stream. Change it to ‘Standard’ or ‘Fewer’ and I will receive less content in that Home stream.

Circles - content in the stream:notify

 

Now you have an idea of how to adjust the settings on circles, you may well want to watch this video that has been well received as a system I call ‘FLOW’ in the stream. Note: this video is from the old design on the platform but still 100% valid in its principles…

As you will see, by muting all the circles with the people from whom you don’t want to see content, you can get in control of the stream much better.

Conclusion

Circles may spin your head a little to start with but in time you will find that an awesome way of differentiating to ‘whom’ to send ‘what’ content, as well as ‘what’ you want to see in your stream as well.