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?