Google today announced new integration between Gmail and Google+ that sees your social connections show up in auto-complete when you’re composing an email. Google says the feature is rolling out “over the next couple of days” to everyone that uses Gmail and Google+.

Back in December 2011, Google started keeping Gmail contacts automatically updated via Google+. Now Gmail goes a step further by suggesting your Google+ connections as recipients when you are composing a new email:

connections1 Gmail now lets you email your Google+ connections, but addresses are only shared when you hit send

The good news is that your email address isn’t visible to a Google+ connection unless you send a reply. The reverse is also true: his or her email address isn’t visible to you unless he or she replies to your email.

Gmail now also lets you control whether people can reach you this way with a new setting called “Email via Google+” (if you don’t see it, then the feature hasn’t landed in your account yet). You can choose between Anyone on Google+, Extended circles, Circles, and No one:

connections2 Gmail now lets you email your Google+ connections, but addresses are only shared when you hit send

Last but not least, emailing Google+ connections also relies on Gmail’s new inbox categories: if someone in your circles emails you, the email will appear in the Primary category, otherwise it will be filtered into the Social category (if enabled). Google says that the latter emails will only be sent once: the person can’t email you again until you respond or add them to your circles.

These are potentially useful additions for Gmail users who actually use Google+, although there is clearly room for annoying emails. We would recommend adjusting the “Email via Google+” setting in Gmail once it’s available to avoid receiving message from people you really don’t want to spam your inbox.

See also – Gmail for desktop now automatically shows images in your messages, coming to Android and iOS ‘in early 2014′ and Google now lets you download a copy of your Gmail and Google Calendar data

Top Image Credit: Johannes Eisele/Getty Images