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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Google launched Gmail Chat

The Silicon Valley-based internet search giant introduced Gmail Chat, which allows users to quickly start instant message (IM) conversations with people they are emailing, said product manager Keith Coleman of Google.

"We wanted to make it easy to switch back and forth between IM and email, and let you keep a record," Coleman said. "If you compose an email, with a single click, you can start chatting with them."

"The history of the conversation will be right in your inbox. Gmail Chat treats IM and email the same way, all saveable and searchable," he added.

Gmail Chat is designed to "leave a nice trail, like email" but has an "off the record" feature that leaves no trace of selected exchanges, Coleman said.

Google launched its new Gmail service for the English language interface early on Tuesday, according to Coleman. Gmail Chat service in other languages will be phased in during the next four to eight weeks, Coleman said.

Google's aim is to give internet users another reason to use its site and, hopefully, click on advertising links there, according to industry analyst Martin Reynolds of Gartner Consulting. Google revenues come from advertisers who pay the search engine "per click".

Google's infrastructure enables it to rapidly launch services such as chat or maps, while it has proven skilful at targeting users with advertising that isn't blatantly intrusive, according to Reynolds.

"The one thing they have to be careful of is not driving clicks to advertising sites just to build revenues," Reynolds said, alluding to industry concerns regarding 'click fraud'. "They have to be legitimate clicks."

Google has advocated for an "open federation" that would allow people using email or chat to connect with each other no matter which internet messaging service they use, according to Coleman.


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