When Google launched the new Google Docs last April, one of the big changes was moving comments to the sidebar and letting people reply to comments. Today, Google is updating comments in Google Docs to facilitate discussions and integrate with email in an intuitive way.
This update is only available for newly created documents for now, Google said.
Google has improved the discussion flow by adding ownership and edit rights to individual comments. Each comment now has a timestamp and profile picture.
Users are able to resolve comments to remove them from the visible document and view them later by clicking the discussions button at the top of any document.
Google also integrated comments with a user's inbox to facilitate more rapid and responsive communication. Users can now add someone to a discussion with an @mention. For example, typing @firstname.lastname@example.org in a discussion will send a notification email to Eddy with the text of a user's comment. Eddy gets a message in her inbox with the question or comment. She can click through to open the document itself to respond, or simply reply to the email.
The reply will show up in the document as soon as the email is sent.
To turn off email notifications for a document, users are able to select Mute updates from this comment at the bottom of any email or select Discussion notification settings... from the Discussions drop down.
Discussions will be available over the next few days to all users with personal Google Accounts as well as to Google Apps customers on the Rapid Release track, Google added.