How To Properly Send a Private Message On GooglePlus


Sending private messages on GooglePlus can be confusing. When you start out on any new social site there are rules you must learn as to how the new network works. Circles on Google+ is no different than learning how @ mentions work on Twitter or reblogging works on Tumblr. Although not complicated, you have to spend some time playing with the features to understand how they work. Don’t worry if it seems confusing. Private messages on Google Plus is one that many many folks, even some who have been around for awhile,  are still not getting right.

The Wrong Way To Send A Private Message on GooglePlus


Although you would think simply placing their name in the Box is all that is required. This is not the case at all.  If  you create a message like the box on the side the person will NOT be notified in any easy way. Depending on their settings they may or may not get a red notification, zero, zip nadda. This post is mostly just posted to your main stream, but only the person you shared it with will have access to it.  But they are not really notified, so….

If the person 1)Follows you 2) HAPPENS to go to your page or 3) HAPPENS to look at their main stream at the exact moment when you post it.. they would see this post.. Otherwise, they will never know you posted it.  As you can see this is 1000% the wrong way to send a private message, as chances are slim they would ever see it.

For comparable Social media ideas, this would be creating a tweet without using the persons @twitterhandle or Making a post on facebook without tagging the person in it. They might see it, but likely not.


The Right Way To Send A Private Message On Google Plus


 The Correct Method here is similar to the first,  with one slight change, but it makes all the difference in the world. When you +mention a persons name into the box they will receive a red box notification to the post. It is still ONLY shared with that person, but the simple mention means your intended person will be directed to it. (Depending on their settings, more on that in a moment) Always use a persons +mention name if you want them to see it.

Again, for all private messages make sure all other circles and people have been removed from the bottom box (No Public, extended circles etc).

This is also a good place to note that although its private between you, if you +mention someone elses name into the conversation at any point, they would be able to read everything you’ve posted. I’ve read a lot of peoples private conversations who are not aware that this will happen, when they mention my name by mistake. 🙂

Spam Settings and People Who Don’t Follow You

I also have to say at this time as a person who has lots of people contacting me I have limited my G+ settings so that only people in my circles can notify me. Otherwise its just ridiculous spam everywhere for me. Many others have done the same thing. If you want to change your settings around you can do so here.


What this means is,  if I am not circling you back and you do the +mention method here… I still likely will never see it. The person you are trying to message might be in the same situation, you wont know their settings. If the person you are trying to reach does not circle you, I suggest you contact them through a different manner, if you want your message read.

I hope that helps clear up some of the information about sending a private message. It’s not too difficult once you play around with it. So go try it out now!

  1. Jason Joseph says

    Excellent… and perhaps even vital information for the successful navigation of the Google Plus seas!

    With Amanda Blain as our captain.. we are always in for smooth sailing.. and……exotic locations?

    Ok I dont know about that last part.. but most certainly smooth sailing!

    Keep up the awesome work Amanda !


  2. Stephen Welton says

    Thanks A.B. As always you’re raising the bar for us G+ Jedi’s in training.

  3. Alan Stainer says

    You can also specify whether you receive notifications for individual circles. So when anyone in a circle you have set to receive notifications for posts, you get a notification, whether they have +mentioned you or not.

    Thanks for the clarification on +mentions Amanda.

  4. Marianne Sansum says

    Hi Amanda…does the post still go on your profile page?….because people can still share from there if it is visible…
    I have people sharing my photographs..because they are on my profile page…how can I stop this ?

  5. "SmallBizDavid" says

    More rules; actually if I want something truly “private” I email outside Google+…

  6. Rupert says

    Amanda, if the ‘private message’ is ‘locked’ by the sender then this should then prevent any other people being added to the message, and also prevent it from being inadvertently shared should it not?

  7. Hanna says

    I just tried this with a friend – I put his name in the ‘To:’ box, and DIDN’T tag his name in the message – he still got notified. So….

  8. Steven Daniel says

    Hi Amanda, I want to know more about U & Google +. What do I have to do to send U a private message ( do I need to add you as a aquc.,following, circle, or add a circle) 1st ? Then do U have to add me in somewhere for this to happen ? Are U saying that a person (even me ) cannot get a private message until both parties have accepted each other ?

  9. Phil Singleton says

    I actually tried to send a Amanda G+ private message and read this right after..tried again. Great post, I’ve been doing it wrong for months, no wonder.

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