Google+ Users Clamor for Gmail Integration
Google+ is getting changes in the early going, but what will they be?
Google+ overseer Vic Gundotra, a popular vice president of engineering for the company, piqued the interest of the new social network's users July 11, promising changes would come this week, a mere two weeks after its launch.
While Gundotra's comment is intended to address criticism of the service, he could have also been referring to the ongoing integration of Google+ across the company's Web services.
Mark Striebeck, Google's engineering manager for Gmail, reported on Google+ July 10 that Google is already working on integrating Google+ into Gmail. As Google's core e-mail application with some 200 million users, Gmail is a logical place for the search engine to begin integrating the new service.
After all, it was Gmail that served as the foundation for the ill-fated Google Buzz social service (although Gmail wasn't the problem with Buzz), and Gmail could certainly benefit from integration with Google+.
Striebeck put the following questions to Google+ users, via a Google Docs' spreadsheet survey form:
- What e-mail features would make it easier to interact with Google+?
- How could we integrate Google+ features into Gmail?
- How can we integrate social concepts in Gmail to make the email experience itself better?
Striebeck received some solid suggestions from early Google+ users, with the most basic asking that users be able to post content to Google+ from Gmail, as well as read comments that others leave on those posts from Gmail.
Chris Rossini suggested: "If I receive an e-mail, and the sender has a Google+ acct setup...it would be great to have an 'Add to Circles' button under the People section of the right sidebar."
Andres M. Trianon was a little more demanding, looking for Google+ to be the center of his Google experience for Gmail and Google Docs:
"Please make it so that I never need to leave the Google+ Interface: Notification of e-mails on my Google+ Bar. Sending emails from the Google+ Interface. Uploading Files straight to Docs or Gmail (for future attachments or filing) straight from my Google+ Interface."
Not everyone is so sure Google should be so quick to begin Gmail integration with Google+, particularly when there are business-oriented services such as Google Apps to consider in the mix.
Google+ user Steve Woods noted that, as employers start provisioning Gmail addresses through Google Apps, "some of us are also going to have access to yet another G+ account through work. I simply can't tie my work-based Gmail to this G+ account, and I don't want to use my personal Gmail at work...."
To that end, Woods asked for the ability to add multiple Gmail addresses (including work and personal aliases) to his to Google+ account, then tie Gmail messages sent to those personal and professional accounts to a Circle(s) for work-based content management. "I can then simply bypass creation of that second G+ account for work altogether."
eWEEK wants to know what features users want to see in the possible Google+/Gmail integration.