Google’s popular video chat tool, Google+ Hangouts, is coming to Gmail. The company will be gradually rolling out the upgrade to all Gmail users beginning on Tuesday.
Hangouts in Gmail are aimed at the day-to-day interactions that usually happen over email. The new feature will replace Google’s existing video chat.
Located in the same sidebar as the chat list, Gmail users will be able to access Hangouts straight from their inboxes instead of having to jump over to Google+.
That said, “if you and the person you’re chatting with also use Google+, you’ll get even more from the Hangouts experience,” wrote Google product manager Fred Brewin in a blog post. “You’ll be able to video chat with up to nine people at once, watch YouTube videos together, collaborate on Google documents and share your screen. Plus, Hangouts has a bunch of fun effects that you can try out…because any conversation is better when you’re wearing a virtual mustache or pirate hat.”
We use the public version of this technology, Google+ Hangouts on Air, for our Career Breakfasts, where we invite HR professionals to share tips on how to land a job in the media. The technology is seamless and easy to use, even for people who don’t have advanced technological skills.