Google+ Meets Gmail: Everything You Need To Know About The Explosive Combo

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It’s no secret that Google has been working hard to push its social network into the mainstream. Google has killed off some of its own products — e.g, the late Google Reader — in an attempt to drive more users into the arms of Google+. A more common tactic, however, has been to create bridges between the social network and other popular Google products.

Google has connected YouTube comments to Google+ posts (for which we are eternally grateful), but has also connected Google+ to Gmail in various ways, which may not sound as inviting. But rest assured, most of it is not mandatory.

If you’re not aware of these connections yet, here’s everything you need to know about what they mean for you, and how you can opt out.

Send & Receive Emails From Your Google+ Contacts

This is perhaps the most significant Google+ integration currently out there: you can send and receive emails to and from your Google+ contacts, without actually sharing your email addresses with one another. So how does it work?

If you choose to enable the feature, as you’re composing an email, it should show you your Google+ contacts as possible recipients. If they reply to you, only then will you actually have their email address, and of course by emailing them, you’re sharing your email address with them.


How To Opt Out

While this might sound like a huge privacy nightmare, it is an entirely optional feature. If you’d like to opt-out of receiving emails from your Google+ contacts, just head over to your Gmail settings and disable it. You’ll find it under the ‘General’ tab, labeled: Email via Google+.

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You can allow anyone on Google+ to email you or restrict the feature to only people in your circles, people in your extended circles (i.e., friends of friends), or to no one at all.


View Google+ Profiles in Gmail

In 2011, Google announced the first connections between Google+ and its email behemoth, introducing content from your Google+ profile alongside emails you’ve sent. So regardless of whether or not you’re connected to someone on Google+, they will see your latest public post in a sidebar to the right of your email. They can click on your most recent posts or photos and add you to their circles directly from Gmail. 


How To Opt Out

While this may not be as intrusive as the latest addition, it does mean you’ll want to be aware of what you’re posting on Google+, knowing that it can be viewed by anyone you email with a Gmail address.

While there is no way to ‘opt-out’ per se, you can be selective about what you share publicly on Google+. The content viewed in Gmail is either content you have shared publicly on Google+, or, if the person is already in your circles, content you have shared to your Google+ connections. So just remember to be mindful about the kinds of things shared on social media.

Filter Emails by Google+ Circles

An incredibly useful (and non-intrusive) way in which Google has connected its email and social network is by allowing you to easily filter emails, to view only those sent to you by people in your circles.

In the sidebar on the left, you can select specific circles, which if you’ve carefully crafted, offers you an easy way to find emails from very specific people. This feature is not something that requires an opt-out option, but you can choose to show or hide it in your label list.


Update Contact Information Automatically

If you update your own contact information in Google+, it will automatically update your contact information saved in other people’s Gmail address books. So if someone has your contact information in their Gmail account, and you’re connected on Google+, you should know that you’re automatically sharing new contact information with them.


It’s also worth noting that if you have publicly posted your contact information on Google+, it can be viewed in Gmail, not only by people you’ve added to your circles, but also by people who have added you to their circles.

How To Opt Out

Your contact information will only be shared with your Google+ contacts through Gmail, if you have already publicly shared your new contact information on Google+ itself. If you’ve done this, there’s no way you can prevent others from seeing your contact information on Gmail.

What do you think of Google’s attempts to connect Gmail and Google+? Useful or an invasion of privacy? Let us know in the comments.


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24 Comments - Write a Comment



Invasion of privacy, pure and simple.


Niraj Y

As a long time Android user as well as Google Fan, I appreciate the steps they have taken to making all the different services from Google more connected.



With all the google services connected, it just takes an offending google+ post, a copyright issue with the video you uploaded to youtube or any other behaviour that is against TOS of _one_ of the services to wipe out _all_ of your accounts, including the apps you bought.
Tip: Always have your apps on a separate account.
Also, I can’t believe how people cheer up when companies like google and facebook try to know everything about us, to offer ‘comfortable services’. Google’s core business is advertising. They make over 90% of their revenue with ads (excluding motorola). Advertising has the highest priority. So everything other comes second. Or better, we must assume, the rest serves company goal #1.
Mobile OS? Yeah, to get to know your audience better and have a channel for ads. Free Email? Sure, to add another ad channel and learn about your customers.
If you don’t pay for the product, then you are the product being sold.


Your point being?

michael sheets

WoWand it doesn’t supprise me………..



The new mobile apps era begin with satya nadella.stick to your windows&walls.



Too invasive



It wouldn’t be so bad if you were allowed to opt out of the whole thing. To do it behind your back without notice is a definite violation of privacy. That being said I am sure there are people out there that like it.



I have no interest whatsoever in being involved with Google+ and think Google really ought to have gotten the message by now.


Totoliciu D



Dan Nguyen

I can’t agree it’s an invasion of privacy when they provide the option to opt out. User responsibility. I’m sure they’ll have a notice when you log into your gmail account about the changes as they always do and they will most likely provide users with the information as to how to opt out.


Dan, you see only one part of the issue here. The ‘opt out’ capability is very restricted as well, and you’re still sharing a lot of your information with others if you do join Google+. THAT is an issue, as the information Google uses is intended to target you with ads, and share information about you, what you do, who you email and what you buy with others for a fee. So, whether you think you’ve ‘opted out’ or not, if you join Google+, Google is making money off you.


Glenn Wolf

I resent Google’s attempt to force me into G+. I tried it and didn’t like it so I canceled my account. If I wanted it, I would have kept with it. But it is an inferior product and I resent their attempts to force me to use it. I refuse to create a G+ account until they vastly improve it. I don’t see that happening. In my experience, Google thinks they know best, the customer be damned.



It’s funny how every social media site seems to think that everyone wants to be part of their collective…just like the Borg. Apparently it’s easier to assimilate first and worry about it later, if at all.

I think social media is great. I just don’t want it to assume it can stick it’s pointly little tendrils into my business and I’ll be OK with that.

Why should privacy be something people need to opt INTO? It should be the standard, not the exception.



As someone who will have nothing to do with social media and also has no friends that will touch it, I am continuously amazed that people are happy to see all of their privacy disappear. I only use Gmail as I have an android phone otherwise I would not touch it with a barge pole. I object to the fact that everyone who signs up to Gmail automatically gets forced into Google+. It should be an opt in not a “try and find a well hidden way out” option. As someone who helps a lot of people with their computers I have now started to use the Microsoft option instead to get people online as I do not like how the company who used to be known as “don’t be evil” or similar is now very much the exact opposite.


This is social media; how did you arrive here?

Lisa F

I do not consider these comments social media and I totally agree with Johnl.


no thanks

social media = giving away your intellectual property for free AND allowing OTHERS can get paid for it.

You now work for GoogleBook. Just without the stock options.



Invasion of privacy. there should be an opt in not an opt out for this. too many people will not notice and will be compromised without their knowledge or consent.



I don’t see this setting in gmail with the education version. Know where it could be hiding or is it not a feature for business/eduction customers?


Vc N

If Google would open up Google+ to auto posting without jumping through a lot of hoops I think it would help popularize the network.


Jo-anne P

I just got my smartphone and tablet during black Friday and I have been going one step at a time sorting out what I like and what works for me. Just when I think I have a handle on it, it changes and I am back where I started. It took me a while to figure out the sync/push and where I wanted it and where I didn’t. I really do not like that everything I open comes “preset” with dozens of options that take me forever to undo and some of it is a challenge. I really don’t understand why must I be thrust or opted in to anything instead of the reverse. And once I am there I have to navigate a myriad of screens to opt out and even then I am only partially out. Are they so terrified that we would choose to not opt-in that they must force it upon us. Since I do not have half the knowledge you all do I am going to absorb all this and give it a whirl one step at a time. I will either love it, hate it or it will make my brain explode and will no longer be a problem for me.

I do appreciate that articles like this are here to be read by people like me. It makes us more aware and better prepared to take on these new features.

Thanks for taking the time to post



Do not like what Google is doing especially connecting more junk to Gmail. I really like Gmail and have used it for years but every time I get something “new” added to Google +, it means more hassle going into settings and turning everything off. I don’t want to be in anyone’s circles, don’t want my acct. connected to everyone else. Google needs to just be happy with what they have and just STOP IT with the new stuff.



I don’t want to be involved with any social media-NONE.
I just want to use youtube and gmail in peace.

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