A lot of people have a Google+ account. We never update it, we never use it, but we have it. And it’s about to get really, really annoying, thanks to Google’s latest “innovation.”
That innovation is basically turning your GMail account into Google+’s version of Yahoo! Messenger. Here’s how it works, according to GMail’s official blog:
Have you ever started typing an email to someone only to realize halfway through the draft that you haven’t actually exchanged email addresses? If you are nodding your head ‘yes’ and already have a Google+ profile, then you’re in luck, because now it’s easier for people using Gmail and Google+ to connect over email. As an extension of some earlier improvements that keep Gmail contacts automatically up to date using Google+, Gmail will suggest your Google+ connections as recipients when you are composing a new email.
As entertaining as being forcibly enrolled into a messenger service can be, and you don’t know comedy until you’ve gotten a chat request from “tuckingcarolyn”, this promises to be incredibly annoying. The good news is that this doesn’t fork over your email address at all, and if you’re not in a circle with that person, it doesn’t go to your primary email. Instead the message will be sent to your “social” folder, which, like Facebook’s “Other” pile before it, can remain safely ignored at all times.
The bad news is that, once again, Google has made this an opt-out instead of an opt-in feature, mostly because they know nobody will use it otherwise. If you want this feature disabled, and you probably do, look for a setting marked “Email via Google+”, appearing in the next few days, and set it accordingly. Otherwise, you’ll be making a lot of new friends who are very, very interested in refinancing your house with the money from a Nigeria prince who made it three inches longer in just two days.