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Google Docs overhauls comments with more context and email notifications

Google Docs discussion threadGoogle Docs has received a few new features today, centered around comments -- or 'discussions' as Google likes to call them. The aim is to make discussions about any particular document easier to create, manage and follow.

Timestamps and profile pictures are now added to each discussion thread, making it easier to see who made a comment and when. You can also 'resolve' any individual comment, effectively hiding it from the discussion thread. Such comments will still be accessible by clicking the 'discussions' button at the top of the page.

Also new are email notifications that get sent whenever someone mentions you in a Docs discussion. Mentioning people works in a similar fashion to Twitter, in that they start with '@'. What follows is different though, as in Google Docs you need to enter the email address of the person you'd like to mention after the '@' sign. Once you've done that, he or she will get a notification in their email inbox, and they'll be able to reply to the Docs discussion thread by replying to the email.

These new features have already started rolling out to everyone who has a personal Google Account, as well as to Google Apps users who have chosen to allow quick updating of Google services. A demo video showcasing the new functionality is waiting for you after the jump.

Tags: apps, business, comments, discussions, docs, email notifications, EmailNotifications, google, google docs, GoogleDocs, productivity, Web