If you’re read anything about Google+, the company’s latest foray into the social realm, then you’ve probably heard about Circles. Here’s my early take, which I shared via a LinkedIn answer on the topic the other day:

From my initial view of Google+, Circles are what Facebook needs but doesn’t have: a way to share based on real life versus the digital world.

 

You can create as many circles as you want–and share information across Google+ in multiple ways (public, or with one or more circles). As a result, this is the first platform that starts out with the premise that all people aren’t equal. So, for example, you might want to share an article that’s about politics with your family, a not-suitable-for-work cartoon with friends, and a great article about finance with your colleagues. I have, for example, set up a couple of broad categories around business/small business and communications/marketing. I can see people setting up circles around friends, colleagues, intramural sports teammates, book club members, etc., over time.

 

As someone who thinks that the private realm doesn’t belong online, I’m unlikely to share ANYTHING that I’m not comfortable with everyone seeing. But I think Google has been thinking about how people share. If they have any ambition of being “the next Facebook” (note: I’m not sure Facebook is going anywhere soon), being able to easily create “share” categories is a good first step.

 

Personally, I think Circles is just one of the interesting elements of what Google is doing with Google+.

 

Have you set up Circles yet? What do you think?

I actually have 6 business reasons I think you should watch Google+.

Sign up for my latest newsletter (sign up form in sidebar–or click through here if you’re reading this in RSS) to read my 6 reasons to watch Google+. As a bonus, I have five beta invitations to Google+ to give away to the first five people who sign up for the newsletter and then e-mail me your Gmail address and tell me why you want to test out Google+. (You have to have a Gmail account to use Google+.)

Photo by J Ronald Lee (Flickr).