Hamburg: Google is introducing a new sorting function for its e-mail service to help users gain mastery over the flood of information.
The Gmail inbox now offers a view that shows the most important messages first.
An algorithm evaluates specific properties, such as whether a user reads e-mails from a given sender and whether they respond to them. The mail can also be rated for importance manually using a new "Plus/Minus" button.
"This is an adaptive function," Google`s Stefan Keuchel said.
That means the "Priority Inbox" will learn over time and fine-tune itself. Messages that are rated as less important don`t disappear, but simply move back into the normal inbox. Users can also return to the classic view at any time.
Google is advertising the system as one that improves efficiency. A six-month internal test showed that users needed 6 percent less time to process their e-mail messages, Keuchel said.
He also provided assurances about privacy protection: information about which contacts are especially important are used by Google solely for the new function.