In another move to integrate the Google+ network with its other services, Google has made the email addresses of all Google+ users available to Gmail users. This means that Google+ users need only type the name of their recipient to have access to their email and be able to send them a direct message through the Gmail platform.
This integration essentially offers a broader list of contacts to Gmail users and also removes the need to exchange email addresses with others on the network. Google will now suggest Google+ connections as recipients when an email is composed.
Although this change will automatically come into effect for all on the network, Google+ users can opt out of sharing their email with anybody who has them in circles. Instead, users can choose to share their email only with people they have in circles or with no one at all.
Many privacy advocates have regarded the move as a threat, claiming that Google should have introduced the feature as an ‘opt-in’ rather than an ‘opt-out’ and that it will lead to messages from strangers and spam. Yet, on the other hand, the integration does enable users to reach their contacts more easily and provides potential for marketers using the network.
For the first time, the network has a direct messaging feature that follows in the suit of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and although the messaging may be off the network, through another of Google’s products, there is the potential for brands to take advantage of the wider reach. Brands can now target any user with a shared email address, via email, to campaign directly and boost their success on the network.
What do you think about the integration? Is this just another annoying attempt from Google to get more people using its social network or is it a welcomed feature for both social users and marketers alike? Please leave us your thoughts in the comment box below…