Gmail's Update Lets Any Google+ User Email You

Don't forget to change your email privacy settings.

In the age of instant communication, it's apparent that email is growing to be a despised method of correspondence. People see it as a chore, spending far too much time tending to their inboxes. And despite futile pleas for no more emails, a change to how Gmail and Google+ interact will make it easier for others to get ahold of you.

Google announced Thursday that Gmail contacts will automatically be updated to include Google+ connections. "Your email address isn't visible to a Google+ connection," the blog post says, but it doesn't need to be. When you start to type a Google+ user's name into the address field, Google will automatically find Google+ users who go by that name, and auto-fill the field for you. Yes, that means strangers on Google+ will be able to get ahold of you.

Users will be alerted by email when the feature rolls out in the coming days. Though they can adjust their settings to determine who on the social network they want to receive emails from, by default, all Google+ users will be able to send emails to any other user with Gmail.

The interweaving of Google+ into other products has prompted a wave of backlash. YouTube users—including cofounder Jawed Karim—were outraged when its commenting system required users to link their Google+ accounts. Google Reader, the company's beloved RSS reader with a cult following, was shuttered last year, and many believed the move was motivated to bring users looking for news to the search giant's social network.

[Image: Flickr user mikecogh]

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  • Watch. Google will eventually make the use of Google+ a requirement for using Gmail. They've been moving in that direction for some time and today's announcement is another step down that path.