Google is rolling out a Gmail feature that aims to help you figure out whether a sender is genuine or if they may be a scammer. When you receive an email from a company that has verified its identity, you'll see a blue check next to their name in your inbox.
The checkmark update is Google's latest implementation of the Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) tech. Google started testing BIMI in Gmail in 2020. At first, it enabled brands that were enrolled in BIMI to include authenticated logos in their emails. The blue check is a perhaps more obvious indicator that the sender is legitimate.
When you hover over the blue check in Gmail, you'll see a pop-up that reads "The sender of this email has verified that they own [the domain was sent from] and the logo in the profile image." The pop-up includes a link that directs you to a page with more information.
"Strong email authentication helps users and email security systems identify and stop spam, and also enables senders to leverage their brand trust," Google wrote in a blog post. "This increases confidence in email sources and gives readers an immersive experience, creating a better email ecosystem for everyone." The feature should be live for all users by the end of the week, while Workspace admins can help set up BIMI for their company.
It's nice to see one company bring back an element of trust to the blue check, which used to be a pretty clear indicator that the person, brand or business on the other end is the real deal. Unlike a certain other company, at least Google doesn't seem to have weaponized blue checks as part of a culture war or used them to wring more revenue out of users while damaging its overall trustworthiness.