Google Contact Delegation feature allows giving another user access to your Google Contacts. It is available in Google Workspace, G Suite paid editions, and Google Workspace for Education.
As explained in this guide about Google Delegation, this feature’s goal is to allow colleagues to add and update contacts on your behalf rather than to use them for their own use.
Therefore it is not considered “contact sharing,” as the contact will not be available for the delegate in their Gmail, for instance, or in their mobile devices.
Shared Contacts for Gmail®, on the other hand, is a shared contacts manager that will not only give access to your contacts but also synchronize them with the accounts of your colleagues.
Comparison between Google Contacts Delegation Feature and Shared Contacts for Gmail®
|Google Contacts Delegation||Shared Contacts for Gmail®|
|What can be shared||The “Contacts” main label only||– The “Contacts” main label|
– Every contact label
– Google domain directory
|Permissions||There is no way to set any permissions or restrictions: all delegates can update and delete shared contacts.||Owners can choose between the following permissions when they share a contact label.|
– View Only
– Can Edit
– Can Delete
– Can reshare
– Transfer ownership
|Access to shared contacts||Delegated contacts can be accessed only in the Google Contacts interface and not through the search (delegate has to scroll down until they find the delegated contacts)||Shared Contacts can be accessed by other collaborators:|
– In Google Contacts through list and search.
– In Gmail, autocomplete
– In the Gmail sidebar
– In Google Drive autocomplete
– In the Google Drive sidebar
– in Google Calendar autocomplete
– In the Google Calendar sidebar
– In mobile devices
– In third-party applications like Whatsapp, Slack, Zoom, etc.
|Contact Backup||If a delegate deletes a contact, you can restore it in the 30-day grace period of Google Contacts.||You can restore deleted shared contacts without a limitation of time.|
To conclude, if you don’t want to install a third-party application and that you only want to delegate the role of handling your contacts to someone else, but if you need to share contacts and collaborate on them, you may need to invest in a solution like “Shared Contacts for Gmail®.”