Facebook Engineers Clone Google+ Circles


Circle Hack is an unofficial Facebook application that imitates one of the key features of the new Google+

Four Facebook engineers have designed an unofficial Facebook application that closely imitates the “Circles” feature on Google’s new Google+ social network.

Like Circles, the new application, called Circle Hack, gives users a simple way to organise their friends into lists that can then be interacted with directly.

Circle Hack

Circle Hack, billed by its creators as “a one-night experiment with Javascript”, is built on a separate website and says it is not affiliated with Facebook.

Users first log into their Facebook account via a button on the Circle Hack website, following which their friends appear in an area on the upper side of the browser window, represented on contact cards.

Users can click on and drag friends into circles on the lower side of the window, selecting individual cards or multiple cards at once.

Once a circle is organised the user clicks on the “Create list” link in the centre of the new circle to name it. The lists thus created will then appear on Facebook.

The site only handles the creation of lists, however. Other processes, such as editing lists or changing privacy settings, must be handled directly via Facebook.

To address messages to a single list is somewhat complicated, involving customising the Facebook account’s privacy settings.


Google unveiled Google+ last week as its answer to Facebook, which has racked up some 700 million users in six-plus years.

Seizing on the market leader’s seemingly cavalier attitude toward user privacy, Google envisions Google+ as a more nuanced approach to social networking that tries to give users complete control over what content they share online and with whom they share it.

Available to users by invitation only for now, Google+ comprises four major components: Circles, Sparks, Hangouts and mobile, which includes instant photo and video uploads and group messaging.

Social Circles has been rumoured since March, and was at the centre of a clumsy smear campaign by Facebook which attempted to brand Google’s privacy as poor.

Circles is a sharing service that lets users add circles, or groups of users united by common interests by dragging and dropping their profiles in a circle. Circles could include family, friends and colleagues.

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