Search giant, Google, has announced a new Gmail feature that will allow you to receive emails from your Google+ connections, even if you don’t have each other’s email addresses.
The new feature, announced today, will see G+ contacts appear as autocomplete options in the ‘To’ field of a new mail when typing. Google + contacts already appear as messaging contacts in the Gmail web editor, and this new feature signals a further collapsing together of the two services
Our first impression is that this seems a little bit creepy. We don’t necessarily want people we clicked to follow on social media because they said something interesting once, a long time ago, to be in our contact book. Fortunately, you’ll be able to have control over this and maintain some privacy as only your name and not your email address will be revealed to the sender.
Likewise, the sender’s email address will also not be visible to you unless you decide to respond to the email which will then reveal your address to the sender and their address to you.
If you dig down into the Google+ settings, you can also choose to receive emails from either anyone on Google+, your circles, extended circles or no one at all – although the default will be set to ‘on’.
“This feature is rolling out over the next couple of days to everyone that uses Gmail and Google+. You’ll get an email with information and a link to the setting when the feature is available,” Google said.
Is this a sensible bringing together of two disparate messaging services that really should be one, or did Google just give spammers the key to our inbox simply by adding us to their Circles? And if so, did the company just make email that little bit more overloaded and overwhelming to use than it already is?