Google today is expanding the functionality of Gmail’s “quick action” buttons, which will now allow users to press a button next to emails in their inbox in order to take additional actions, like rating and reviewing restaurants you’ve ordered from on Seamless, modifying OpenTable reservations, saving promotions from Google Offers, viewing YouTube and Vimeo videos, opening Dropbox folders, and more.
These quick action buttons also include support for opening Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, RSVP’ing to events, and checking on flight details and real-time flight status, among other things.
At the name implies, the buttons are meant to make it easier for users to interact with email messages quickly – that is, without having to open up the emails themselves. Instead, with just one click, a window appears which lets you take an action related to the message’s content.
Google had already introduced quick action buttons for things like calendar appointments with Google Calendar, for instance, and had announced that the system was open to developers, allowing them to write their own buttons, if they choose to do so. Developers can use the schema.org markup language to add their actions to Gmail messages, the company said this May. Developers who want to integrate with Gmail have to add a piece of code to their email messages to make this sort of functionality appear.
Today, we’re seeing the results of those integrations, and Google says that it’s looking to add support for even more activities and services over time.
Though the feature could negatively impact email open rates, it could increase user interactions with the service in question, which is why it’s appealing to third-party services. And the buttons make the emails stand out in users’ increasingly crowded inboxes.