In the continued push to bulk up its social network, the Web giant announces that Google+ and Gmail are to be “completely interactive.”

by Dara Kerr

Google announced today that it’s bringing “a better Google+ notification experience in e-mail” — one that, among other things, will drop various commenting features directly into your in-box.

The “notification experience” entails a bunch of changes that makes Gmail “completely interactive” with the social network. The updates include being able to view, comment on, and +1 posts from inside Gmail’s in-box, seeing comments appear in the Google+ stream in real time in a sidebar, and seeing responses from others “instantly appear” in Gmail as part of the notification message.

“Notification e-mails are a great way to keep up with what’s happening in the Google+ stream: whether someone mentions you, comments on your post, or shares with you directly,” Google Software Engineer Zohair Hyder wrote in a blog post. “It’s not always enough to just read these updates, however; sometimes you want to respond right away, right from your in-box.”

Google had already started integrating Google+ into Gmail before today; recent new features include being able to add people to circles directly from the desktop and viewing recent Google+ content in the people widget.

While some may appreciate these new features, others may well bemoan a perceived impossibility of escaping Google+. Just last week, the Web giant announced that Google+ comments will be posted alongside Google News articles, and earlier in the week, actor and writer Wil Wheaton ranted about having to sign into Google+to like a video on YouTube.

When Google first launched Google+ last June, the company said its goal was to move toward the integration of its products with its social network. It’s now delivering on its word with these recent debuts of Google+ into YouTube, Google News, and Gmail.

Google said it will be rolling out the new Google+ features in Gmail over the next week. Users have the option of going into the social network’s settings and adjusting which of the notification e-mails they wish to receive.



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