Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has started merging Gmail and Google+ starting Thursday, allowing users to send an email to anyone on Google+ even without knowing an email address. All Gmail users will be able to utilize the messaging service over the next few days, David Nachum, product manager for Gmail revealed in a blog post.

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Gmail id will not be revealed

Through the new service, users of Google+ would be able to send emails to Gmail account holders without actually knowing their email id’s. The email id of the Gmail users will only be revealed once they reply to the message. The message sent by the Google+ user will be saved in the ‘Primary inbox’ of the receiver, but if a user is outside the circle of the receiver then the message will be transferred to the ‘Social Inbox’ category. Users can get the instructions on a Help Page created by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).

Once the receiver gets an email he or she could decide to add the sender to the circle, and until then the sender will not be able to send another message to the receiver. Once the receiver of the mail replies using Gmail, the email id of the receiver will be revealed, which will prevent the messages from going into spam.

According to Nachum, once users have activated their settings on Google+ they will start receiving mail in their Gmail inbox along with a link that can be used to deactivate the service altogether. A warning email will also be sent to all new Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) account users.

Google follows Facebook

The social networking giant already allows its users to message anyone who uses Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), and now Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is following the same strategy. Google is stepping up its efforts to incorporate Google+, which has a subscriber base of 540 million active users. Users who make a Gmail id, instantly get the Google+ account.

Every Google+ user can change the settings according to his or her likes, and can restrict the messaging to Extended circles, circles or disable it completely. Google has modified and added a few other features for the celebrity Google+ users.

Google said in a blog post “You’re in luck, because now it’s easier for people using Gmail and Google+ to connect over email.” However, according to experts concerned with privacy, the new feature of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is not something to feel lucky about.