Integration with Gmail is probably the most obvious move and, yes, Google is working on that. But it's taking things slowly and getting feedback from the community first.
Mark Striebeck, engineering manager for Gmail frontend, wrote on Google+ asking people to join the conversation and say what they'd like to see in Gmail related to the social site and how Google+ could expand its email features.
We are working on several Gmail / Google+ integrations. But similar to some of my Google colleagues, I want to use the creativity and momentum here for some larger brainstorming in a Hangout," Striebeck wrote.
Due to the huge response, Striebeck had to change the plans, there will now be six hangout sessions, with participants already selected. Hangouts has a limit of ten people joining a conversation at a time.
I'm pretty sure that all of you use some email client - many probably Gmail. But regardless of the client:
- What email features would make it easier to interact with Google+?
- How could we integrate Google+ features into Gmail?
- How can we integrate social concepts in Gmail to make the email experience itself better?
he listed some of things that users should voice their opinions over.
He also set up a Google Docs survey in which users can select the areas they'd like to see improved or worked on. Google also offers the Products Ideas and Moderator tools which are designed for just this type of situation, perhaps that could have been more handy.
In any case, it should be interesting to see what Google bakes into Gmail, it certainly doesn't want another Google Buzz fiasco so it's probably taking a more cautions approach this time.
It's great to see several Google employees engaging with users and asking for ideas and suggestions regarding Google+, fitting for a social product.