Gmail has just rolled out (another) new feature as part of its new design. It’s been rolling out feature after feature this month including Nudge and Confidential mode. The newest feature allows you to mention people in an email. It’s not a novel concept if you think about messaging apps like Slack or if you think of social media sites like Twitter. This feature is similar; you can use the @ symbol to mention people in Gmail.
Mention People In Gmail
You need to be running the new Gmail interface in order to mention people in Gmail. You can mention them in the email body.
Open Gmail and click the Compose button to write a new email. Inside the email body, type the @ symbol and then type in the name of whoever it is you want to mention. If you type M, for example, all your contacts that start with the letter M will be listed. Select the contact you want to mention, and a link to their email will be added to the email.
You can only mention people in Gmail for web, and eventually in the mobile apps. If you use a desktop email client like Thunderbird or Outlook, you cannot mention anyone. If you receive an email with someone mentioned in it though, you can click the name and open a new compose window with the email already added in the To field.
The mention feature is just a convenient way to add a mailto: link to an email. If you know a little HTML, you can add it yourself bu this does make it much easier to add, no HTML required.
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What’s The Point?
Mentioning someone in an email doesn’t send them the same email. In fact, they never even know they’ve been mentioned in someone’s email. If the person you mention in the email is also one of the recipients, it still won’t make any difference. They don’t get a special email alert about it or anything.
This feature only makes it so that you can click the link to a person’s email and send an email to them. You’re saved the trouble of having to manually enter someone’s email address. If the person mentioned in the email isn’t in your contacts, it makes it all the easier to send an email.
If you actually send an email to the person mentioned in the email, they will be added to your contacts but simply receiving the email isn’t going to do the trick.