Jan 10, 2014

Email via Google+: A Gmail Update You Need to Know

The Official Gmail Blog rolled out a new feature yesterday, Email via Google+.

Email via Google+ allows Gmail users to send emails to their Google+ contacts….without having their actual email address. If this feature is enabled for you, you may have already noticed the added contacts that appear in your drop down when entering who you want your email to go to.

So what does this mean and how does it affect you? 

  1. This controversial improvement doesn’t just give out your email address. Your Google+ contacts can only see your email if you send them an email and vice versa (you can only see their email if they choose to send you an email). 
  2. Gmail will automatically filter these messages into your Primary category if you currently have them in your Google+ circle or into the Social category if you don’t. They also won’t be able to start another conversation unless you respond or add them to your circles. 
  3. This is currently enabled in your settings. The default setting for Email via Google+ is Anyone on Google+. This means you already opted into this feature. To people concerned with privacy and giving out their email address, this is where the problem lies. 

So what if you don’t want this feature, what do you do?

Fortunately for those of us that prefer the old fashioned way of giving out our email to those we want to have it, it is an easy fix.

4 Steps to Disabling Email via Google+:

  1. Go to your Gmail Setting page by clicking that link or clicking on the gear when you have your Gmail open:
  2. Scroll down until you see: Email via Google+
  3. Click the drop down to the right and choose “No One” 
  4. Scroll to the bottom and click Save Changes.

Presto! Your email is safe another day.

If you went into your settings and could not find Email via Google+ then it means this feature is not yet available to you.

Whether this makes communication easier for you or is something you are against, it is important to keep an eye on how different platforms choose to share your information.