Friday, January 10, 2014

Google set to allow any Google+ user to email any Gmail user

So Google is rolling out a new Google+ feature that will allow anyone with a Google+ account to email anyone else with a Google+ account at their Gmail address, even if they don't know your actual email address. This is, as some have pointed out, similar to how anyone on Facebook can send a private message to anyone else. This feature has its usefulness in social networking, mostly in terms of finding out if the person you've found in a search is really the person you think they are. However, most of us just don't view our Gmail accounts the same way we view our Facebook -- it's our EMAIL, and we don't want people to just send things there willy-nilly without even having our address.

So if you don't want this, here is how to disable it:

Click on the little "gear" icon in the upper-left corner. It brings down a menu that looks like what you see on the right. 

The settings menu has multiple tabs, but that's not important for our purposes. 

The setting for Google+ users being able to email you is on the "General" tab (the first one you're on when you go to Settings). You should be looking at something like what you see below. There are four choices.

The "Anyone on Google+" choice is the default, and that is the most infuriating thing about Google's action here. "Extended circles" means the same as what Facebook more clearly calls "friends of friends." Essentially, it's people "two degrees of separation" away from  you. Your "Circles" are the people you've explicitly connected to; that's the setting I put mine on, as I figure I don't mind if someone I've intentionally connected to emails me. It might even be nice, as they can email me even if they've somehow lost my address. The "No one" setting just disable the new feature altogether, meaning nobody can email you via Google+

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1 comment:

  1. I got an email from Google today explaining this. One new piece of information there was that when anyone NOT in your circles emails you, the email will go to your "Social" tab and that same person will not be able to send you any additional emails until/unless you respond. So that's at least some sanity to the process.