Gmail Priority Feature To "Revolutionise The Way We Use Emai

Google has launched a 'Priority Inbox' interface for all Gmail account holders, designed to flag the most important messages and allow users to deal with emails more efficiently.

The interface breaks the inbox into three sections - 'important', 'starred' and 'everything else'.

The software automatically analyses an incoming message, predicting its importance by assessing the sender, subject and previous user actions (reply/delete), according to Google. It then places the message in what it thinks is the appropriate section.

Users are also able to fine-tune the system to ensure that certain messages are flagged as priority, and Google claimed that the system improves over time.

Internal trials at Google have shown that users will spend six per cent less time reading emails and time spent reading unimportant emails will be reduced by 13 per cent, explained Matt Glotzbach, director of product management at Google.

"The new addition is an evolution of Gmail and will revolutionise the way people use email," he told

"Users send over 294 billion emails each day and on average business users spend 13 hours per week dealing with their inbox. The Priority Inbox weeds out the bad emails, helping to drive efficiency and productivity."

The new tool is likely to be key for enterprise users. The highlighting of important messages when users only have a few minutes to view or reply to emails between meetings, for example, will allow for faster and more effective communication, Glotzbach added.

The Priority Inbox is available to all Gmail account holders and Google App users if administrators have selected the 'enable pre-release features' in the control panel.

Google will be hoping that this addition makes Gmail more appealing to enterprise users, helping it to take market share away from Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes.

Google Apps already has an established user base of 2 million users, and continues to grow in popularity, with 3,000 new businesses joining everyday, according to the firm.

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