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Summary:

It’s no surprise that Google is looking to use its new platform, Google+, to add a social layer to the company’s existing services. It seems the company wants to forge ahead with plans to incorporate some of Google+’s social features into its flagship webmail product, Gmail.

Helping hand shakes another in an agreement

It should come as no surprise that Google is looking to use its new platform, Google+, to add a social layer to the company’s existing services. It seems the company wants to forge ahead with plans to incorporate some of Google+’s social features into its flagship webmail product, Gmail. According to a Google+ post, Mark Streibeck, Engineering Manager for Gmail frontend, is looking for community input on how Google can successfully integrate the two apps.

Specifically, Striebeck is asking for help with three questions:

  • What email features would make it easier to interact with Google+?
  • How could Google integrate Google+ features into Gmail?
  • How can Google integrate social concepts in Gmail to make the email experience itself better?

If you’d like to provide your input, you can either join in a brainstorming discussion using Google+’s built-in video chat tool, Hangouts, on Tuesday, July 12 at 3pm PDT (although given the number of comments on Streibeck’s post already, I think it may be pretty popular and difficult to get into), or leave your thoughts in a shared Google Doc (you’ll need to ask Streibeck for access).

It will be interesting to see whether Striebeck can use Google’s own tools (Google+, Hangouts and Docs) to successfully gather the community feedback he’s looking for here, particularly as Hangouts is limited to ten simultaneous connections. But it does demonstrate that Google+ can be used as a collaboration tool, and underscores how Google+ may yet find a home in the workplace.

Personally, I’d like to see email notifications in Google+, and also to use profile information from my Circles to populate my address book in Gmail. What social features from Google+ would you like to see added to Gmail?

  1. Personally I would like G+ integrated into Gmail’s contacts, so that when looking through contacts it shows you whether they have a G+ profile or not (with options to add them to a circle)

  2. Google is in the portal/frontend business, but it is long past time for a meta-portal to unify things. I want a nice looking frontend page where I can get an at-a-glance of Gmail, Reader, Google+ (Talk, Contacts, Voice, Picasa, Buzz), Calendar, and any other Google tool out there. It should be a simple modular design, customizable by the end-user.

  3. Hopefully they get Gmail integrated seamlessly into G+; I hate having to open up a new tab just to see and/or reply to mail

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