Google Plus members value their privacy

Visualization of Google Plus Graph

Due to the simple manner in which I crawled the data, this doesn't represent a true breadth-first crawl of the graph (rather it captures the random set of in and out links that appear on a user's profile page). However, what is interesting is that there is a clear tightly connected component that is distinguished from a more dilute area. I suspect, without any real investigation, that this is the core area of Google employees and some of their immediate connections as well as alpha users. This is complete conjecture, though.

In capturing this data, I also observed the complete in and out degree of each node. The top ten that I came across where (in order): Mark Zuckerberg, Vic Gundotra, Robert Scoble, Tom Anderson, Matt Cutts, Markus Persson, Pete Cashmore, Thomas Hawk, Evan Williams and Om Malik with links ranging from 456k to 33k.

Finally, I noticed that 48% of users haven't yet posted public.

One selling point for Google+ is that it gives users the chance to build in private groups from the ground up. Sure, you can make friend groups in Facebook, but I know I have better ways to spend my free time than sorting all the friends I’ve picked up through school and beyond into appropriate groups. But since Google+ has built that feature in, it’s easy to organize people as you move along. 

And it seems plenty of people are using that tool
Hurst, whose visualization was picked up by The Next Web, showed that there is a tight cluster of public power-users on the network, with the rest of the service’s 20 million or so users chiming in less often. But, as a commenter on Hacker News pointed out, Hurst’s data appears to only contain public data. 

An earlier report from All Things Digital revealed that approximately two-thirds of the content on Google+ is, in some way, private. I know that I post most often to a Circle or two, but rarely use public posts.

How do you use Google+ and its privacy options? Let us know in the comments.


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