Apps like Twitter, Slack, and Facebook let you direct messages to a user by typing @ followed by a username. Gmail now does the same thing, sort of.

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Compose a new message in the new Gmail and, while writing the text, type “@” followed by the first few letters of a contact’s name. You’ll be recommended a few people, as shown above. Select someone, either by hitting “Enter” or by clicking them. ┬áTheir email address will be added to the “To” line, and a link to their email address will show up in the text. Like this:

It’s not a mind blowing feature but I could imagine it being occasionally useful. More importantly it makes email “feel” more like a modern messaging app, which I suspect will be important in coming years. I wonder what other features Gmail will copy from other messaging apps?

Thanks to Rita El Khoury at Android Police for pointing this tip out.