Could aanything replace Facebook as the king of social networking? Absolutely.
Several years ago, Facebook replaced Myspace, after all. The future of online social networking is always uncertain, but some sites have emerged that showcase a user’s personality differently, such as Linkedin. Your social personality and your professional personality are rarely the same. It’s safe to say that as long as you have a personality that isn’t represented on a networking site, there's room for another site to emerge.
Google+ doesn’t offer you a certain personality type to display. Rather, it gives you control of how you share various versions of yourself with various people. And Google+ is similar to Facebook -- but there's one salient difference: circles.
You can organize your contacts into different circles depending upon your connection with them. When you start your Google+ account, you are prompted to place some of your contacts into default circles: friends, family, acquaintances and following. The final option is for people you don’t know personally but whose posts you find interesting.
The circles of Google+ are designed to let you share information with some members of your social network that you don’t necessarily want to share with other members. Maybe there are pictures that you want to show your parents that you don’t want to show your college friends. You might want to share an article with your colleagues from work that your friends might have no interest in reading. This difference has been what some have seen as a shortcoming on Facebook. If you decide to sign up for a Google+ account, here is how you can manage your circles simply and effectively.
- Locate circles pageWhen you sign onto Google+ you will find five boxes at the top of the screen. These boxes will bring you to various pages within Google+: home, photos, profile, circles and games.
- Add new people and circlesTo the left of the contacts you already added, there is a box that reads: “Add a new person.” When you click it, a small search engine will emerge. Then you can find people based on either their name or email address. To add new circles, click the transparent circle to the left of the circles you have already created. You will be prompted to add a circle name and description. From this point you can add people directly to a particular circle.
- Enjoy privacy controlSince you organize the circles, you organize who can see the information you choose to share. This luxury frees you up to share certain information from which you might otherwise shy away. You can allow information to be seen by the public, all of your circles, extended circles, specific circles or specific contacts. Extended circles means that anyone who is in a circle of someone in one of your circles can see what you post. It is important to note, however, that just because only some people within your network can see your posts doesn’t mean that you should act without discretion.