Introducing the Gmail people widget

by Volker Weber

Email is just as much about the people you communicate with as it is what you communicate about. We think it can be helpful to view relevant information in context, which is why over the next two weeks we’re rolling out a new people widget located on the right hand side of your messages. The people widget surfaces content from friends, family and colleagues that is already available to you but may be hard to find and makes it easier to connect with them.

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Interesting (if slightly creepy) approach. Unfortunately, I seldom see the GMail UI. I access my GMail (and the POP accounts it aggregates) in Thunderbird. I also block what usually appears in that panel (ads) with OptimizeGoogle, and you'll probably see the option to block the people widget added. Net/net, I likely would never have known about it without coverage like this. YMMV of course, but I represent one segment they miss here.

It's one more attempt to attack/defend against the Facebook juggernaut, probably necessary but not sufficient. In my view it's still FB's battle to lose, and I expect them to go too far with privacy so the odds are still >50% against them. That doesn't mean Google is the winner.

Arthur Fontaine, 2011-05-27

I like it. Much better than in Outlook 2010.

Sven Richert, 2011-05-27

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