Jason Watson, Andrew Besmer, Heather Richter Lipford (2012) +Your Circles: Sharing Behavior on Google+ , Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS) 2012, July 11-13
Users are sharing and consuming enormous amounts of information through online social network interaction every day. Yet, many users struggle to control what they share to their overlapping social spheres. Google+ introduces circles, a mechanism that enables users to group friends and use these groups to control their social network feeds and posts. We present the results of a qualitative interview study on the sharing perceptions and behavior of 27 Google+ users. These results indicate that many users have a clear understanding of circles, using them to target information to those most interested in it. Yet, despite these positive perceptions, there is only moderate use of circles to control information flow. We explore reasons and risks associated with these behaviors and provide insight on the impact and open questions of this privacy mechanism.
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