Google Voice adds Google+ Circles functionality

The Google+ Circles feature lets people place friends and family into different groups. It's now available in Google Voice too.

Google Voice now has Circles, just like Google+.
Google Voice now has Circles, just like Google+. Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

If you like the Google+ Circles feature and you're a Google Voice user, you'll be happy to hear the search giant's latest news.

Google announced yesterday that Circles is now available in Google Voice. In order to access the feature, you will need to head to the "Groups & Circles" tab in the Google Voice settings. From there, you can determine how to handle the Circles that Google offers: Acquaintances, Friends, Family, and Following.

"Circles give you more control over how you manage your callers; for example, calls from your 'Creepers' circle can be sent straight to Voicemail, only your 'College Buddies' circle will hear you rap your voicemail greeting, or you can set your 'Family' circle to only ring your mobile phone," Google software engineer Tom Ford wrote in a blog post.

Despite Ford's blog post, a Google representative said in an e-mail to CNET that users cannot create their own Circles for Google Voice. So for now, Acquaintances, Friends, Family, and Following will have to do.

Circles is arguably one of the best features in Google+. It allows users to combine people they're connected with into distinct groups that can see different updates and multimedia. For instance, certain updates and photos might only be shared with friends, while others might only be viewable by family members.

Circles in Google+ is a filter for content that users share with others. But in Google Voice, the implementation is slightly different because it's designed to filter incoming calls. Still, it's the same Circles you've come to know in Google+.

Updated at 1 p.m. PTwith more information on Circles in Google Voice.

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