Google just made it really easy for strangers to e-mail you
As expected, this feature is opt-out too.
Source: Google (via The Verge)
You no longer need someone's e-mail address to send them an e-mail. At least, that will soon be the case if you want to e-mail another Google+ user. A new Gmail "feature" will let you simply type in anyone's name into Gmail's "to" field and send them an e-mail. Google announced the new Google+ integration on its Gmail blog today, but company representatives have clarified to The Verge that — by default — anyone on its social network will be able to send messages to your Gmail inbox.
The new feature — and the guaranteed controversy to follow — is reminiscent of the company's attitude towards its failed Buzz social network. The service was opt-out only and led to backlash and ultimately a class-action lawsuit. Notably, the feature itself would be helpful if it was opt in; it'd provide an easy way to allow those you've added to your circles to contact you even if you haven't yet exchanged email addresses. By making this an opt-out feature, it seems that Google wants to challenge Facebook's dominance in communication: the preeminent social network has effectively made email addresses less important.
A Google representative tells The Verge that while the setting itself is rolling out over the next couple of days, the ability to send emails via Google+ will not be enabled until a later date. When the company does turn on the feature it'll send emails to Gmail users letting them know of the change.