Google launches free video chat to enhance its instant messaging service

Posted by Mickaël Rémond on November 18, 2008

Google this week announced that it was going to launch free video chat with its Gmail messaging service.

Essentially it is a web browser plug-in that will allow Gmail users to conduct video chat sessions with other users. Rajen Singh, senior product manager for Google's enterprise group, stated that this is a "significant” move and is something that Google can see bringing people closer together particularly in a business context.

This is further evidence that video IM will be a useful tool for the business. For instance it can be used as a way to cut travel costs for face-to-face meetings and in the current economic climate, this will be a very attractive proposition for many businesses.

Brian Kraemer at CRN praised the application for its ease of use, "Users can pop the window out of the Gmail interface, just like a Gchat instant message window. Users are then given the option to go full screen with the chat, for an up close and personal experience with your chat partner.”

This further proves that video chat is the next stage of evolution for instant messaging and XMPP (on which Google’s messaging services are based). XMPP server developers like ProcessOne are already developing video and voice chat application for businesses based on XMPP and we see considerable growth in this market in the future.

You can get more details on the articles from CRN - Gmail add is video and voice chat, and Information Week - Google's Gmail gets free video chat.