Google’s Gmail Is Getting Support For A New Email Feature That Allows Brands To Display Their Logos In The Avatar Slot

On Tuesday, Google announced several security features headed for G Suite services, however, one of the most significant announcements is about Google’s Gmail. The company announced last year that Google has joined the BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) group, which is pushing an email specification that includes brand logos to authenticated emails.

Google announced that it is adding support for verified brand logos on Gmail as standard. BIMI is an emerging email specification that enables companies to deploy their logos consistently across email clients. Until now, BIMI had only been completely adopted by email clients of Verizon. However, as Google’s Gmail is one of the most widely used email clients across the globe, the inclusion of Gmail indicates a landmark for the Brand Indicators for Message Identification specification.

In the case of Gmail, brand logos will appear in the existing Gmail avatar slot next to the name of the sender and address in the top-left corner of a message when being viewed on the web. In comparison, while viewing on Android or iOS, brand logos will have even more prominence showing up directly in Gmail’s inbox.

The Brand Indicators for Message Identification specification is meant to enhance user confidence in the source of emails, and part of Google’s efforts to enhance the email ecosystem and keep users safe. Companies will also get a new place to surface their brand logos, and companies will be able to automatically update branding via one system if the adoption of BIMI grows.

Behind the scenes, emails are verified using the existing Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) system, and then there is a certification that applies the associated brand logo. The DMARC system is designed to tackle spammers that forge the ‘From’ address.

Using the DMARC system, Brand Indicators for Message Identification will allow companies to validate ownership of their corporate brand logos, and securely transmit their logos to Google. While the BIMI specification is partly about developing a consistent brand image across email clients, Brand Indicators for Message Identification has also been designed to bring some peace of mind to recipients. Email recipients will be able to instantly see that the sender of the email is who they claim to be.

CNN is among the companies on board for the initial rollout of the new feature, and Google stated that the company will officially start rolling out the BIMI pilot in the upcoming few weeks. The company has two logo certification authorities on board for launch including DigiCert and Entrust Datacard. A full-scale launch of Google’s BIMI pilot is expected later this year.



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