Home > Life, The Universe, & Everything > A Google Plus Tip Regarding Circles & Google Talk

A Google Plus Tip Regarding Circles & Google Talk


UPDATE July 28, 2011: 

Unfortunately, it seems that Google has changed the options menus within Google+ so the method described below no longer works. Thank you to Sveinbjörn for pointing this out in the comments (bel0w). I am going to do my utmost to figure out how to accomplish the limiting of certain Google+ Circles seeing you in Google Talk. Because the service is still technically in “Field Trial” mode I suppose changes such as this are going to be happening as Google plays with the environment of Google+ on a day-to-day basis before the hard launch.


Google Talk – also known as Gmail Chat and Google Chat – is an integrated part of the brand new Google social networking service currently in an invite-only “field testing” phase called Google+ aka Google Plus (which is how it’s read). The way the service works in terms of maintaining your privacy and making it easy to share posts and information is by using “Circles.” Now, one of the things I noticed when I started using Google+ and Circles was that suddenly people from some of my Circles were appearing in my Google Talk list (within Gmail and within Google+). This was slightly disconcerting because as far as I knew none of these people knew my main email address so I was wondering how the heck they got on my Google Talk list. Turns out, the answer was within the Google Talk settings in Google+. Read on to find out how you too can change these settings to your liking.

Note: These settings can ONLY be changed in Google+ as of the time of this writing. You cannot change these settings from within Gmail. I have yet to test it with the actual Google Talk PC application but I would imagine it would be the same as the Gmail access.

Hover your mouse over the right hand side of the “Chat” area on the left hand side of any Google+ page. A little triangle with its small end facing down will appear, click it. Once you click it, you’ll see a drop down menu appear (as seen in the screen grab above). There will be three options in the drop down menu – “Circles”, “Settings”, and “Sign Out” – click the “Circles” option.

Once you have clicked on the little triangle and gotten the pop-down menu, hit the “Circles” option. This will open up a little settings box (as seen in the screen grab above). This settings box lets you “Choose the Circles you want to chat with.” Click the check boxes for the circles including the people you want to chat with and you’re good to go.

Hope this little tutorial helps you, boys and girls.

  1. Sveinbjörn
    July 28, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I do not have this option on my account, do you know the reason?

    • July 28, 2011 at 4:09 pm

      Sorry Sveinbjörn it seems they have changed this option and I no longer have access to it either using the method I posted above. I will look into how we can do it now that they have changed the options around and post my findings within this post (above).

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