Users of Google+ should be aware that a new change is coming, linking the service to a much more seemingly private area of the internet — your GMail box.
There’s something about GMail that creates a minor panic when a privacy breach (real or imagined) occurs. The integration of Google+ has been so unnerving for so many GMail users because it’s not as intuitive as Facebook in regards to what is shared with which networks.
Like that first moment of panic you feel when you look at your Google+ page and it lists you as having been in a late-night hangout. Agh! Who can see it? What do they think? What were you thinking, Google?
I’m getting panicky just thinking about it myself.
Now Google+ users will be able to just waltz into your GMail account like they own the place … or at least have a key. Messages sent through the service will be delivered much like GMail messages, and be displayed in your inbox as such if the setting to allow it is enabled.
This feels so much more weighty now that we have a Primary inbox.
In any event, not replying will not reveal your GMail address to the person messaging, but doing so will.
GMail’s Product Manager David Nachum explains:
“Your email address isn’t visible to a Google+ connection unless you send that person an email, and likewise, that person’s email address isn’t visible to you unless they send you an email … When someone in your circles emails you, the email will appear in the Primary category. But if you don’t have them in your circles, it will be filtered into the Social category (if enabled) and they’ll only be able start another conversation with you if you respond or add them to your circles.”
You can read about the new Google+ GMail integration over at GMail’s official blog.