As of this week, Gmail is going to start letting Google+ users email each other using a new option called "Email via Google+." There's nothing wrong with making it easier to get in touch with people you want to hear from, but the default setting allows anyone with a Google+ account to send a message to your Gmail inbox.
After the feature is in use, Gmail will start to suggest Google+ connections along with your other contacts as recipients. Email addresses will not be displayed for Google+ connections until they send you an email, and vice versa. So if someone uses "Email via Google+" to send you a message, your email address won't be revealed to them unless you respond.
Messages from people in your circles will go to your Primary inbox, but emails from people you don't have in circles will be filtered into your Social inbox.
Needless to say, this raises some serious privacy concerns. Most of us don't make our email addresses public for the very reason that we don't want strangers contacting us. The upside is that you can change your settings so that only people you know can email you, or opt out entirely. Here's how.
Click the gear icon in the top right corner of your inbox and choose Settings from the drop-down menu (or just click this link). Scroll down and find the option called Email via Google+.
Now, just choose who you want to be able to contact you using the feature and click Save Changes.
Note: If you don't see the setting yet, check back later. This feature is still rolling out.
That's all there is to it. Head over to the Official Gmail Blog to hear it straight from the horse's mouth.
What do you think of the new "Email via Google+" feature? Useful or creepy? Let us know in the comments.
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