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What Google’s Inbox Can Tell us About Social Media

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Ahhh, emails. Who can deny the joy of waking up to heaps of answered emails and a cluttered mailbox? Soon though, all that could come to an end.

If you have Gmail that is.

Yesterday, Google unveiled a project they had been working on for years: ‘Inbox’. This is an app for Gmail that is an attempt to revolutionize the way email is viewed. Much more personalized, organized and visual, it incorporates a series of new features such as ‘bundles’, which groups messages by type (i.e. by promotions, purchases, or social), as well as reminders and to-do lists. This video from Google will give you a better idea of what all the hoopla is about.

Excited? I surely am!

Currently though, Inbox is invite-only. So unless you have a friend who is lucky enough to send you an invite, you are going to have to wait until Google releases it to more people.

While learning more about this new initiative, I couldn’t help but thinking about how this all ties into the trends of social media. Here are my takeaways:

The visual trend will continue

This app will organize your information in a way that it will be much more easy on the eyes. And by ‘easy on the eyes’, I mean visual. With Inbox, your email will go from being a highly-textual interface to one that is more of a stream of posts, with color-coded icons and images. This goes hand in hand with what I have said before about the visual marketing trend in social media. Studies show that we are more prone to process and remember information that is transmitted visually.

Mobile is ever-present

If you saw the video, or didn’t, you’ll notice that the app is shown only on mobile phones. The fact that Google has been working on this for a long time shows how important a responsive, mobile design is. Not only that, but the number of apps that have attempted to take on this issue – improve on people’s email experience – goes to show how a solution like this was long overdue.

Read more: Why a Responsive Design is Key for a Successful Mobile Marketing Strategy

Social is in

I would be lying if my first impression of the app was that it looked more like my Facebook newsfeed than an email inbox. According to Google themselves, it was a conscious decision to do so. Jason Cornwell, lead designer of Inbox and Gmail, said, “thats the point….we’re trying to solve a different problem…we’re trying to be the best place to get back to the things that matter to you.” So social media sites must be doing something right if Google finds that the best way for users to use their email is by emulating a social networking feed, right?

If you are too eager to wait around, you can send an email to inbox@gmail.com and wait for an invitation (as soon as more are available, that is). In the meantime, you can start to look around and see if there are ways in which you can improve your products or services for others. Say, a responsive design of your website that is smartphone-friendly? Whether it be designing your website or social media marketing strategy, our company focuses on bringing you the best solutions at affordable prices.

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Written by Tanu Gupta

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