Google allows Gmail to send email to any Google+ contact

Google allows Gmail to send email to any Google+ contact

Summary: Over the coming days, users of Gmail will, by default, gain the ability to email Google+ contacts without knowing their email address.


The search for January's Google+ opt-out setting of the month appears to have been found, with users of Gmail soon gaining the ability to email any Google+ contact that allows emails from the entire Google+ network.

(Image: Google)

Google said in a blog post that it sees the latest encroachment of Google+ on Gmail as an extension of the existing Gmail ability to add email contacts to Google+ circles. The company said that the email address of a user would not be exposed to another unless some form of email correspondence was entered into, whether that be sending or replying to an email from a Google+ contact.

For Gmail users who make use of Gmail's new tabbed interface, emails from existing contacts in Google+ circles will appear in the "Primary" tab, and emails from unknown contacts would appear in the "Social" tab, should it be enabled. A user who sends an unsolicited email to an unknown contact would only be able to send another if that email is responded to, or the user is added to a Google+ circle.

(Image: Google)

Fortunately for users wishing to be left alone, Google has allowed for the receiving of email from Google+ contacts to be switched off, or limited to contacts within a user's circles or extended circles. The default setting appears to be allowing anyone on Google+ to email you.

Users will know when the new feature has been switched on, as an email will be sent to the user.

Topics: Google, Social Enterprise


Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

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  • Sounds like a Spammers Paradise

    ...on by default. Classy.
    • google honors your privacy

      and won't sell your email to the spammers.
      LlNUX Geek
      • Like when Google breaks laws to steal your information

        or when they intentionally circumvent privacy settings to get your information?

        Based on Googles "honor" in how they go about getting users information, why should anyone expect them to act differently once they have it?
    • Reminds me of the Monty Python song

      "Spam, spam, spam, spam
      Spam, spam, spam spam . . ."

      This is going to be worse than Hotmail for spam!
      • Don't you mean

        you wish Hotmail spammed as much as this will.
      • o

  • Great

    even more ways to get spammed.
  • Problem is

    Nobody is on G+ and so why would I need this?
  • Why would users want this?

    what is the point.
  • Eventually unworkable solutions

    Social site innovations will eventually cause the demise of the internet as a workable platform for the masses. Only encrypted business applications will survive on highly guarded digital mountains.
  • I really don't see the problem

    Google tries to push Google+, probably without success.
    As it states, the "spam" can only be a one time thing, others can do it over and over again.
    If someone ring my door bell trying to sell me an encyclopedia - how seriously bad is that? If I ask street directions to some stranger - is that spam?...
    • One more thing

      As the world moves to the cloud, and spam filters become very good (I don't remember of one single spam message falling in my inbox in the last year), I wonder if email spam still makes sense - how efficient is it?
    • o

  • Where is this setting?

    This feature doesn't seem to be in my Gmail at all. I don't see the setting, and if I compose en email it doesn't give me the split Gmail/G+ contacts to choose from. Is this still rolling out or is it everywhere?
  • Now - if only I can find somebody who uses Google+.

    Now - if only I can find somebody who uses Google+.

    Great in concept, but Facebook simply has way too much inertia.
    • actually I prefer G+

      I use G+ to track businesses and professionals, I much prefer the layout to FB. FB is where I follow the goofy postings of old high school buddies.

      If you want spam, try joining some groups on LinkedIn. My signal/noise ratio on G+ is nearly perfect whereas it's nearly 0 on LI. I'm on a couple tech groups (current and past employer) where at least 90% of the postings are of the "lose weight fast" ilk.
  • boo

    Google is great for the brainwashed. If you're still using google products, then I recommend you do some serious soul searching. People who use google are supporting a culture that says its okay to violate our privacy. Please don't support them or Facebook, or any other company that makes money from collecting our personal information. Instead we should be using sites that don't violate our privacy such as Ravetree, HushMail, DuckDuckGo, etc.
  • Google, think about how the users would feel every time you do something

    I like Google products. Google may have every right to do what they did, based on the terms of services I sign for their free services. However, it would be advisable for Google to behave with more respect for user's privacy and choices when a product is modified (new feature is introduced or existing feature is killed). In this case, they should 1) make it Opt-In, and 2) make the announcement before turning it on (You have my Gmail address, don't you, Google? I get many other promotional emails from Google, so, what's stopping you from sending me a courtesy instructional notice, huh?). In another small example, why did Google unilaterally remove the option to turn off night mode on new Google Maps on Android? (dark evening clouds, long bridges and tunnels I go through make it difficult for me to read the map while wearing sunglasses as the map automatically switches between day and night modes. I would rather turn that feature off, and use night mode manually). Unilateral decisions and hasty implementations make Google's behavior feel arrogant, irritating and disrespectful. Please consider that this translates to reduction in brand royalty.
  • should have been opt-in

    Google, as usual, misreads (or disregards) their user community. They could have avoided this whole kerfluffle by making this opt-in instead of opt-out. If a company fears that opt-in will result in too low of a take rate for a program than that program is probably flawed anyway.

    I let this go for a few days before I got around to turning it off. I didn't notice any new "spam" during that period. I may open it wide again for a few weeks just to see what happens.