Gmail Sees First Google+ Integration

Google+ is starting to make small appearances on other Google services. Googler Mark Striebeck has announced that Gmail will soon be displaying recent Google+ posts from those you’re in email conversations with.

The New Gmail Feature

While users haven’t yet reported seeing the Google+ post widget in Gmail, Striebeck has announced that the internal Google version of Gmail (an environment called “Unicorn”) is now showing the expanded widget. He provided this screenshot:


These recent Google+ posts are integrated with the “People” widget that was introduced in May. That widget normally shows basic information of those you’re in a Gmail conversation with. Previously, this was limited to a summary of recently exchanged messages, shared calendar items and docs, recent Buzz posts, and the option to start a Gmail chat with or make a call to the user. The new version seems to replace the Buzz post segment with a Google+.

Google+ Spreading Across the Google Frontier

Striebeck calls this “a first, tiny step”; it’s likely we’ll see much more integration between Gmail and Google+ in the future. Additionally, we’re starting to see a small Google+ presence on other platforms, including the YouTube sharing button and Google Profiles.

Google is confident enough in its social site that, just two months after its initial launch, the platform is being integrated publicly. However, that confidence alone is not enough to give much reassurance to those who’ve paid close attention to Google’s social history. After all, Buzz received similar attention in the weeks after its release, but has since been almost entirely abandoned by both Google and users.

What do you think? Is it wise to integrate so quickly? And where would you like to see Google+ integration in the future?

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