Gmail and the Google+ social platform can now interact, Google has said.
The move, announced on Thursday, means Gmail users can easily add
people from whom they receive emails to their Google+
circles. They can also filter emails and contacts by circle, and
use their correspondents' Google+ profiles to populate Gmail contact
Google is integrating Gmail with the Google+ social network, bringing the ability to add email contacts to Google+ circles. Image credit: Google
"We'll be rolling out all of these changes over the next few
days to Gmail, Gmail Contacts and the 'standalone' version of Google
Contacts at contacts.google.com," Google engineering director Mark
Striebeck said in a
blog post. "Please note that Google
Apps users won't see the Contacts updates quite yet, but we're
actively working to make them available."
When the user opens an email in Gmail, they should now see an
option to the right of the screen that allows them to add the sender
of that message to one of their circles. If that person is already in
a circle, their most recent post will appear in that position.
Gmail users can also filter emails by circle, allowing them, for
example, to view all recent messages sent by family members or work
colleagues. Google has also introduced an option for people to add
circle names to emails coming from specific contacts.
A key new function for Gmail users is that of automated contact
data population, assuming the contact has a Google profile that
includes phone numbers, email addresses and so on. If this is the
case, their contact entry in Gmail will automatically include this
information, and alterations to that data in the Google profile will
propagate through to the Gmail contact information.
From the Google+ side, the Gmail integration should result in
easier photo-sharing. Previously, photos received by email had to be
downloaded and re-uploaded to Google+ in order to be shared over the
social network. Now, this can be done with one click.
Google is in the process of tying all of its services to Google+,
as chief executive Larry Page made
clear in October when he said the company would be " baking
identity and sharing" into its whole portfolio.
So far, this has meant replacing
the native social features of Google Reader with those of Google+
YouTube into the platform. Google has also added Google+
extensions to Chrome and is embedding certain Google+ functionality into
its Internet Explorer toolbar.
Get the latest technology news and analysis, blogs and reviews
delivered directly to your inbox with ZDNet UK's