In an interview with Steven Levy published on May 28, 2015, Horowitz said that Google was about to undergo a "huge shift" that would better reflect how the service is actually used.
By that time, two core Google functions, communications and photos, had become standalone services.
It includes basic social networking services like a profile photo, about section, background photo, cover photo, previous work and school history, interests, places lived and an area to post status updates.
It also includes several identity service sections, such as a contributor and other profiles area that let one link their "properties across the web". Organization of circles is done through a drag-and-drop interface.
In the "Stream", which occupies the middle of three columns on the page, users see updates from those in their Circles.
There is an input box which allows users to enter a post.
The service, Google's fourth foray into social networking, experienced strong growth in its initial years, although usage statistics have varied, depending on how the service is defined.
Another function of Circles is to control the content of one's Stream.
A user may click on a Circle on the left side of the page and the Stream portion of the page (the center) will contain only posts shared by users in that Circle.
For the unsegmented Stream (includes content from all of a user's Circles), each Circle has a "slider" configuration item with four positions: nothing, some things, most things, and everything.
The nothing position requires the user to select (click on) the Circle name explicitly to see content from users in that Circle.