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Google making it easier to unsubscribe from email lists

Gmail is undergoing another change, but this time it's a fairly minor tweak - and one that is likely to be broadly welcomed. Unsubscribing from mailing lists is about to become simpler.

Rather than having to hunt through the small print at the end of an email, or scouring the text for a hidden link, you'll soon find the unsubscribe option right at the top of emails. Announced via the official Gmail Google+ page, Google describes the change as "a win for everyone".

The new feature is not something that mailing list creators need to opt into, or indeed do anything about at all. Providing an email features a unsubscribe link somewhere in its text, Gmail will automatically add it to the top of a message next to the From field.

Google explains that "when a sender includes an 'Unsubscribe' link in a Promotions, Social or Forums message, Gmail will surface it to the top", so it's not clear if the feature will work with every single mailing list.

The comments on the Google+ post are positive for the most part, but there are also concerns. One commenter asks "what's to stop somebody crafting a malicious unsubscribe URL?" Others have suggested that senders might simply stop excluding unsubscribe links in their emails.

This would seem unlikely as it would probably result in emails being flagged as spam. Some Gmail users have indicated that this feature has been available in their inbox for some time already, so it's possible there was a soft launch.

But now the feature is official so if you don’t see it yet, you should do very soon.

Photo: TACstock1 / Shutterstock