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Google+ +1 activity may clutter streams, spam friends – here’s how to turn it off

A new Google+ feature will show +1 activity of friends in certain situations, but it can be easily turned off in order to avoid cluttered streams and spamming friends. Here's how you do it!
July 10, 2013

A Google+ update has enabled a feature that puts the service on par with other social networks when it comes to +1 behavior, as Google will now show “+1 activity updates in the stream.”

In other words, +1 activity works more or less like Facebook Likes, which may not be such a good thing for everyone on Google+, as it could lead to cluttered streams and +1 spamming.

Google explained that the new update will not show all your +1-ing activity to your circles, but some of it may be shown to your friends, just like some of theirs may be shown to you:

When you +1 a post, people in your extended circles who also have you in circles may see this +1 “activity update” in their streams. They will only see the activity update if they had access to the original post. Activity updates may also be visible in Google+ search results to anyone who can see the original post.

As you can see, it’s not all black and white and  you may see a lot of +1 activity or none, depending on how many friends you have, how you set up your circles and whether you visit the same webpages – but the good news is that you can turn it off, so you don’t actually spam your friends.

Turn yourself off

What you have to do to disable the +1 activity updates is to go to Google+ settings (quick link here: and choose from the drop down either “only you” or set it to custom if you want certain people to have access to your “’+1’s on posts” activity” (see image below):

Google+ +1 activity

Turn friends off

The setting above solves your +1 spamming, but in order to prevent contacts from spamming you, you can either teach them how to turn off their +1 activity, set up special circles for them, or (albeit this is an extreme measure) remove them from your list.

Once you move those friends that have a lot of +1 activity in a special circle, you can go to Home, select the circle you want to update, click on the Settings wheel for that circle, and choose to get “Fewer” updates from that circle. You can even set it up to not push updates to your stream:

Google+ +1 activity

Since we’re talking about Google+, we’ll add that we have our own Google+ page which you should definitely circle (in case you don’t do it already) to keep up with all Android-related news (and not only).

Hat tip, +Nate Swanner.