Super-simple blogging tool Posterous is getting a major refresh today. The new system, while still dead simple, has more up-to-date social and sharing tools. The new Posterous encroaches on Facebook and Google+ in some ways, although with only 15 million users after three years running, it's not technically in the same league.
The new Posterous Spaces, as it's called, is "really trying to go after controlled and private sharing," CEO Sachin Agarwal told me. Your spaces (formerly sites) on the service can now have members (formerly you had to set up groups). And in contrast to Facebook and Google+ Circles, spaces memberships are symmetrical--everyone can see everyone else, and there's none of the lopsided sharing and following in your tight groups that you can get with Google+ and Twitter. You can set up as many spaces as you want, and each can have different members.
You can also follow (not author) other users' public Posterous sites, and there's a wall- or Twitter-like "Reader" tab now for doing that.
Posterous has always had a strong mobile app, as befits a super-simple, quick-and-dirty blog platform. Posterous Spaces gives you fine-grained and clear control of spaces and members from the app. There's a lot more in the mobile app now, and it's more complicated than the last app, but worth it for the flexibility.
Posterous is not insular, either: Posts on the service can get automatically pushed to existing social sites like Facebook and Twitter. This is a standard feature for a user-focused site today, though.
The company is still not making money, and I would say it's getting a bit old to still be living off VC funding (Redpoint and Trinity), but Agarwal says, "things are going so well, we've been able to focus on user growth instead of revenues." If his funders are happy, I'm not one to judge. And he does confirm that paid professional and business accounts are coming soon.
Posterous plans to roll out the new service from a paid exhibit space at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco today.