Rejoice, fellow humans on the internet! After what seems like an inordinately extended period of time, Google has finally announced that their excellent team is ready to roll out Gmail’s new “Unsubscribe” link feature. The news went out on Wednesday and states that this link, which will appear on the top of suspected spam messages, will make it twice as easier for us faithful Gmail users to unsubscribe from unwanted mailing lists. First, here’s the official release from Gmail’s Google+ post:
Email is a handy way to get updates from your favorite brands, social networks, discussion boards and more. But sometimes you end up subscribed to lists that are no longer relevant to you, and combing through an entire message looking for a way to unsubscribe is no fun.
Now when a sender includes an “Unsubscribe” link in a Promotions, Social or Forums message, Gmail will surface it to the top, right next to the sender address. If you’re interested in the message’s content, it won’t get in the way, and if not, it’ll make it easier to keep your inbox clutter-free.
Making the unsubscribe option easy to find is a win for everyone. For email senders, their mail is less likely to be marked as spam and for you, you can now say goodbye to sifting through an entire message for that one pesky link.
Now let’s break this down a bit, stall we? If you read the above information carefully enough, you’ll notice that it says the unsubscribe link will show up next to the sender’s address only if the sender includes an actual unsubscribe link to it. This means that yes, the new feature serves to let you stop getting messages from mailing lists you (or a friend pranking on you for free Wi-Fi, files, etc.) ended up signing up for, but also that it only works if the senders are kind enough to allow you to opt out of their promotions, advertisements, offers, and newsletters. Great. Good job. Is it just me who thinks this is completely pointless?!
I mean, no offence to Google, but this link seems to be exclusively catering to super lazy (or very very busy) people who can not be bothered with simply clicking on an e-mail and scrolling all the way to the bottom to find an “unsubscribe” link. That’s all. This is no wondrous invention that will suddenly stop you from receiving those Canadian Drug Mall or Russian Mail Order Bride ads. You’ll still have to mark the spam as spam and hope the filter works, but in the lucky event that the people trying to send you fake inheritances or sell you body enhancement pills do send along an “unsubscribe” link, Gmail will make sure to send it to the top. Of your e-mail, that is. Oh, also, I know this is making headlines this week, but according to a lot of users (and Google themselves) the company had been experimentally rolling out the service since quite a while ago already. Some breaking news, right?!
But hold on to your horses, guys. I didn’t just write this post to dismiss a fun story. Yes, the “unsubscribe” link isn’t amazing but it will save all of us a couple of seconds per e-mail and if you add all of that together, that’s a LOT of our time spared. Also, I saved the more interesting Google app news for last (for all you skimmers out there): As of August 5, 2014, Gmail has started recognizing e-mail addresses that contain accented or non-Latin characters! Apparently, you can’t yet make Gmail accounts with language-specific letters in them, but this welcome upgrade (which is to feature on Google Calender too) will allow you to send and receive messages to international contacts with “ø”s and umlauts in their addresses. Click here to read more about this globalizing change and I’ll be right back after checking my Gmail e-mail!