“I want more email from strangers!”
If that is one of your wishes in life, then Google has great news for you: Now anyone with a Google Plus account can send you a Gmail message. Google is allowing Google Plus members to send Gmail messages to other Google Plus members without knowing their Gmail address.
Announced last week by Google, this feature allows people to send a Gmail message to anyone they have in a circle on Google Plus. You don’t have to have them in a circle, so anyone can send you a Gmail message even if they don’t know your Gmail address.
This feature is turned on by default, though you can change your settings to opt out so that people must use your Gmail address to send you a message.
How to Send a Gmail Message to a Complete Stranger via Google Plus
To send a Gmail message to someone on Google Plus, you first need to add them to a circle. Any circle will do, you can even create a new circle for people you want to email and name it something like “Complete Strangers I want to email without knowing their email addresses.”
Next, click on Compose and start typing in the “To” line. You will see a list of your Gmail contacts and below that a list of your Google Plus connections, a/k/a people you have in your Google Plus circles.
Click on the name(s) you want and begin typing your email message.
How to Opt Out of Receiving Gmail Messages from Google Plus
This feature is turned on by default, but you can opt out of it by adjusting your settings. As space on Gmail is limited for free accounts, I suggest turning off this feature. If you’re a fan of email messages from strangers or spam, feel free to leave the feature turned on (for now).
1. Click on the Gear icon in the upper right corner of your Gmail page and choose Settings from the drop-down menu.
2. Under the General tab, scroll down to Email via Google +
3. Click on the drop-down menu and choose which people you want to receive messages from:
- Anyone on Google +
- Extended Circles
- No one
4. Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page.
You can find out more information about Gmail and Google Plus from the Google answers page.
Where to Find Messages from Google Plus in Your Gmail Account
Gmail messages from Google Plus will go into your Social tab/folder, if you have one. There you can see if anyone has sent you a Gmail message from Google Plus.
See, Gmail Inbox tabs and category labels help page for more information about setting up a Social tab/folder for your Gmail account.
If you don’t have a Social tab/folder, email messages from Google Plus will land in your inbox.
What Else You Need to Know
People who use this feature to send you a Gmail message won’t see your Gmail address unless you reply to them.
People who aren’t in your circles can only send you one Gmail message from Google Plus unless you reply to them.
People don’t need your permission to add you to a circle on Google Plus.
This feature is being rolled out from Google over the next week so if you try to opt out and don’t see Email via Google + in the General section of your Gmail settings, that means the feature isn’t yet active for your Gmail account. Google will send you an email to your Gmail account before this feature becomes active for you.
You need to have both a Google Plus and a Gmail account for this feature to work.
This feature only works on the desktop version of Gmail. You won’t see the option to send Gmail messages to those in your Google Plus circles from mobile apps.
See also, Your Secret “Other” Facebook Messages to learn how Facebook deals with this issue.
What do you think of this new feature from Google Plus? Vote in today’s Wonder of Tech poll and let us know!
Are you excited about the connection between Gmail and Google Plus? Are you looking forward to receiving more email? Will you be using this feature to send email to others via Google Plus? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below!