Posterous refocuses service, app for social networking

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Posterous has overhauled its iPhone app as part of a broader expansion of the service that’s seen it move from a Tumblr-style blogging site into more of a social network akin to Google+.

The service announced this week that it’s re-branding itself as Posterous Spaces—a service that still allows users to post blog entries, but also allows them to adjust privacy controls so that posts are only seen by designated groups. That bears more than a passing resemblance to the Circles feature of Google+, or Facebook’s new privacy settings. (This video offers a brief explanation of how the service works now.)

Posterous’s changes are reflected in the overhauled iPhone app. The earlier version of the app was a simple—but effective—blogging tool that allowed users to post text, photos, and videos to their Posterous blogs. (Posterous could also post blog entries to other services like Blogger, Facebook, and Twitter.) Version 3.0, launched this week, is multifaceted: It opens by inviting you to expand your list of Posterous friends by searching your Twitter and Facebook contacts for other users of the service.

After that, the app lets users create either public or private Spaces, and to designate other administrators and contributors to those spaces from among your Posterous associates. Members can also be easily booted from private spaces that you administrate. If you have multiple Posterous sites in operation, you can easily shift between them to post and administrate.

The Posterous app now includes a Reader tab to let you track updates on both the public and private spaces that you choose to follow. There’s also a new Popular tab to help find other public Posterous Spaces that you might find interesting. You can also still do simple blogging through the app, as well as schedule those posts and designate the other social networking sites—Flickr and YouTube among them—where the post will appear.

The Posterous app is free, and compatible with devices running iOS 4.0 or later.

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