Limiting Who Can See Your Posts on Google Plus

Limited view options on Google Plus are very appealing to those of us with multiple social and professional circles.  But, let’s face it.  My disc golf friends won’t care at all about geeky link I post for my tech writing friends, but I can limit each post to specific people or circles.  This way, I can target individual shares to the people who are interested and avoid flooding everyone else’s stream with junk.

The ability to share on Google+ with a limited view / group of people (rather than to all your followers, circles, or the public at large) is fantastic.   Instructions on how to use features generally stink on social media platforms.  Since folks have been asking about limited view sharing on Google+, I thought I’d share what I know thus far.

There are two ways that I know of to limit who can see a Google+ post…sharing with a circle and/or sharing with individuals.  Click here for a pdf version of the instructions below.

Sharing with a Circle

First, you can create a circle with just the folks who’d be interested in the topic …and share with that circle of people.

Create a Circle

1.  Once you’ve logged in to Google+, click on Circles (in the row of buttons across the top) and either click the Create Circle button or hover over the Drop Here to Create a Circle / Create Circle option below.


2.  Name the circle with something descriptive like Disc Golf Buddies, then start dragging the people you want (who fit the description) into that circle.

 Sharing with a Circle

1.  With the circle created, go back to your stream (the home looking icon in the row across the top).

2.  Click in the box that prompts you to “Share what’s new…” so you can type or paste whatever you’d like to share.

3.  If you want to share a Google+ post with just the members of on specific circle,  first click the Xs on the default folks you share with …to get rid of the defaults like Public, Your circles (all of them), and Extended circles.


 4.  From there, you can click the +Add more people or +Add names, circles, or email addresses link to add a circle or individual people.

Sharing with Individuals

Adding individuals rather than a “circle” is the second way to identify who can see the post.

1.  If you want to add individuals as well as a group to the limited visibility to the post, click the +Add more people link and start typing the name.


2.  As the name starts to appear in the drop down menu, you can select the person you want to add.

For Notification Purposes

I actually add individuals even if I already have them included in the group.

At the time of this writing, I think if the individual name is added, that person will get a notification from Google+ about the post.  I don’t think members of a circle get a notification.

The post is visible to the group I added …if they go looking through the stream for anything I’ve made visible to them, but adding individuals seems to work much better if I want to make sure someone in particular on Google+ sees it.

You can also add individuals within the post…like tagging in other social networks.  Start typing the plus symbol and the name like I started tagging my friend, Cathy…  +Ca

I do this if I’m posting on Google+ and really want the folks in that circle to see it.

When I add the tagged names in the post, it automatically adds the individual names to the visibility box.

I haven’t been able to tell a difference between adding an individual in the post/tagging and just adding an individual in the Add Circles, People, etc. box, but either way you limit the view, when you click Share, the only people who’ll be able to see the post are the ones you specified…individually or in the circle.


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Limiting Who Can See Your Posts on Google Plus — 4 Comments

  1. Sherry, I’m only minimally active on Google+, but I have made good use of the circle feature you highlight here. Fortunately I put people in appropriate circles right from the get-go, so I’m in good shape.

  2. Truly, sorting folks into organized circles (often in multiple circles) is an awesome timesaver. The one thing I’ve noticed, though, is that sharing with a circle, though it allows folks in that circle to see it, it doesn’t always get seen in the stream. I experimented with sharing just to circles, then tagging individuals as well. The ones I tagged were read and got replies – I think because they were notified of the share. The ones I shared just to circles were often overlooked. …got a lot of questions later about “When did you mention that? Where was that link?”