Google, on Thursday announced that the company is integrating Gmail and Google+ contacts. What this means is that you can now send an email to anyone on Google+, even if you don’t have that contact’s email address.
In a blog post by Google’s Product Manager, David Nachum says that this new feature will be slowly rolling out to all Gmail and Google+ users within next couple of days. Once the feature is available, you’ll get an email with information on how to use it, and a link to configure this setting in Gmail.
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This feature means that Gmail will now suggest you Google+ connections as recipients when you are composing a new email. However, it will only reveal their names and not their email addresses. Email address will only be displayed once the recipient responds to your email. As you can see in the above screenshot, Gmail will clearly differentiate between your Gmail contacts and Google+ connections.
You can control whether you want people to contact you in this way via a new setting in Gmail. This setting basically lets you define who can email you via your Google+ profile, and options include: Anyone on Google+, Extended circles, Circles or No one. The default setting allows anyone on Google+ to send you an email through Gmail. Many users would like to configure this setting to prevent themselves from unwanted email spam.
This feature also takes advantage of Gmail’s new Inbox category. When someone in your circle emails you, then that message will appear in the Primary category. But if a stranger, or a person whom you don’t have in your circle messages you, then it will be sent to the Social category, and they will be only able to send you another email if you start a conversion with them, or add them to your circles.