October 28, 2014Published by: Sharmin Cheema-Kelly

Google Inbox: The future of emails?

Last week, Google announced its latest offering, Inbox, a free email app that aims to better organise emails and is "designed to focus on what really matters". Dealing with emails at work can be tedious and distract us from accomplishing important tasks, and Google Inbox aims to reduce the amount of time we spend sorting out our inboxes.

The Google Inbox app essentially consists of three key features:

  • Bundles
  • Highlights
  • Reminders, Assists and Snooze

Bundles are Google Inbox's organisational tool which groups together emails in similar categories. For example, bank statements and receipts will be bundled together and the app allows you to swipe them off all at once. You can also 'teach' Google Inbox to group certain emails together, thus creating custom email bundles.

Highlights as its namesake suggests extracts key information from an email, including flight itineraries, phone numbers, event information etc. and goes one step further by including information that wasn't in the original email e.g. real-time flight & package deliveries statuses.

Reminders, Assists and Snooze makes it easier for users to focus on priorities and allows the user to add to-do reminders, as well as adds additional information to your reminder, otherwise known as Assist. For instance, writing a reminder about a restaurant reservation will bring up a map to, and the phone number of, the restaurant. Not everything can be tended to immediately, and the Snooze option allows users to snooze reminders as well as get it to remind you again when you are in a specific location e.g. at home or in the office.

Data and algorithms are increasingly permeating social media channels and it comes as little surprise that they are being introduced to emails as well. What implications do these changes have for marketers? Perhaps they will be increasingly challenged to ensure their emails are not filtered out through Google's algorithms and will be pushed to create valuable content, while users look to benefit from these changes. However, the reliability of algorithms and whether emails are always correctly bundled remains to be seen.

At present Google Inbox is invitation-only and invitations can be requested through inbox@google.com

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