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.

Gmail2

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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+.

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.

Settings

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. 

Gmail1

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.

GmailCircles

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.

ContactInfo

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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Comments (24)
  • Maxxus

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

  • jemezmama

    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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • James

    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?

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For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.