Google enables Gmail users to email their Google+ contacts

By Sooraj Shah
10 Jan 2014 View Comments
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Google will allow its Gmail users to email their Google+ contacts, in a move that may initially leave many users inundated with unwanted emails from social media links that they would rather not be in email contact with.

The internet giant claims that the move will make it easier for people to communicate with their friends using either service.

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"Have you ever started typing an email to someone only to realise halfway through the draft that you haven't actually exchanged email addresses?" Google's product manager David Nachum said in a blog post.

"If you're nodding your head 'yes' and already have a Google+ profile, then you're in luck, because now it's easier for people using Gmail and Google+ to connect over email," he added.

Gmail will now suggest Google+ connections as recipients when the user composes a new email.

Nachum explained that an email address is only visible to a Google+ connection that you have sent an email to, and that the recipient's email address is not visible to the user unless they send an email back.

And Google was quick to quash any privacy fears, emphasising that the user could opt out of receiving emails from Google+ contacts.

"You control whether people can reach you with a new setting in Gmail," Nachum said.

The setting allows users to select who can email them through their Google+ profile, with the options including anyone on Google+, extended circles, circles or no one.

If the user has allowed some people to contact them by email through their Google+ profile, these will be filtered: when someone from the user's circles emails them, the email will appear in the primary category; if they aren't in the user's circles it will be found in the social category.

"[In the social category], if enabled, they'll only be able to start another conversation with you if you respond or add them to your circles," Nachum explained.

The feature is being rolled out over the next few days to all Gmail and Google+ users. Users will be prompted with an email with information and a link to the setting when the feature is available.

The change has worried some privacy advocates, who say that people could be contacted by strangers.

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