Here’s a mildly intriguing development: Google has been trying to set up Google+ and Gmail for some time, and now it looks like they’re forcing the marriage.
You will soon be able message anyone with a Gmail address by searching for their name and adding them to your Google+ “circle”. Since every Gmail user automatically has a Google+ account, one could theoretically use this new feature to get in touch with a media person whose email address isn’t public.
Not that we’d recommend that.
In order to protect itself from the scorn of every single person on the Internet, Google included an opt-out feature. From The Los Angeles Times:
To opt out, go to your Gmail settings (click the gear in the top right corner of your inbox and then choose “Settings” from the drop-down menu). Scroll down to “Email via Google+” which asks the question, “Who can email you via your Google+ profile?” Change the answer to “No one.”
Users can also change their settings so that only people in their immediate or extended circles can message them.
If this move sounds similar to Twitter’s recently abandoned decision to let all users DM each other, that’s because it is. Will it meet the same fate? Maybe, but we have a better question:
How many people really use Google+?