The project Google Inc. unveiled in a blog post Tuesday aims to make online sharing more like real life. A feature called "Circles" lets users share different things with different groups of friends, colleagues or relatives.
Facebook, miles ahead of Google when it comes to the social side of the Internet, has a similar feature called "Groups," which lets users categorize their friends and acquaintances.
Google has been experimenting with different social tools since late 2009 with limited success. "Buzz" was a major mishap. The company wound up exposing email contacts that users didn't want to share.
It later settled with the Federal Trade Commission over "Buzz."