January 10, 2014
Gmail Now Lets You Send Email To Any Google+ User
Tech giant Google announced on Thursday that it has added a feature to its Gmail service that will allow users to send email to Google+ users even if the receiver’s Gmail address is unknown. Anyone on Google’s social network will be able to send messages to other Gmail users.
This new service, called Email via Google+, was introduced this week and will roll out in the coming days. Those who don’t want just anyone to send them an email can opt out by selecting the “no one” option, or limit emails from those in certain circles.
The key to this service is that the Gmail address is never actually provided unless the receiver responds to the email. This change is the latest in Google’s efforts to integrate Google+ with its other online services – most notably Gmail. It could make it easier to email colleagues that users know even if their email isn’t known.
“Have you ever started typing an email to someone only to realize halfway through the draft that you haven’t actually exchanged email addresses? If you are 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,” David Nachum, product manager for Gmail, posted on the company’s official Gmail blog.
“As an extension of some earlier improvements that keep Gmail contacts automatically up to date using Google+, Gmail will suggest your Google+ connections as recipients when you are composing a new email.”
Nachum confirmed in the blog post that the email address isn’t visible to a Google+ connection unless the user sends that person an email, and likewise that person’s email isn’t visible to the sender until the person responds.
This added functionality will also enhance the options to use Google+ as a contact and communications tool.
“Emailing Google+ connections also takes advantage of Gmail’s new inbox’s categories,” Nachum added. “When someone in your circles emails you, the email will appear in the Primary category. But if you don’t have them in your circles, it will be filtered into the Social category (if enabled) and they’ll only be able start another conversation with you if you respond or add them to your circles.”
Nachum confirmed in the post that this feature will be rolled out in the next few days, and that Google+ users will get an email with information and a link to the setting when the feature is made available.
This is also the latest push from Google to increase the user base of its Google+ social network, which still trails rivals such as Facebook and Twitter by a broad margin. While Facebook has more than a billion active users and Twitter – which recently launched a successful IPO – has more than 230 million users, Google+ has also seen steady growth as well.
At an event in San Francisco in October the search giant reported that its Google+ service had seen a 37 percent jump in users and that the service now has 300 million active each month, surpassing Twitter, but still lagging behind Facebook.