Google has received some flak over the past few days for a new feature in Google+ that allows users to e-mail others without actually knowing their address. But there’s a solution on the horizon – that is, if you’re a high-profile user with thousands of followers.
By default, the new feature allows anyone on Google+ to send e-mails to anyone else, even if they aren’t in a circle. Celebrities and other high-profile users, however, can only be contacted by those in their circles by default.
Regular users can still adjust the level of privacy or opt-out completely but by default, it’s wide open. To do so, simply head over to your Gmail account and go to the settings page. Once in the General tab, scroll down to open the pull down menu in the Email via Google+ section to view the options. You’ll need to be sure to save the changes before exiting, of course.
Google has apparently been sending out two different versions of the announcement via e-mail. For most, they’ll get the “anyone on Google+” notice shown above while those with a large number of followers are being sent the slightly modified message seen below.
While there’s little doubt that high-profile users will likely be the target of unwanted messages more often than the average Joe, the fact that Google is implementing different defaults based on followers alone all but proves that they are aware of how invasive and potentially annoying the feature really is.