Wednesday, December 5, 2007

IM Integration: AiM on GMAIL chat now!

Google has invested about a billion bucks in AOL (yes, it still exists) and now has enhanced the already cool feature of chatting on GTALK via GMAIL. For those who don't know, you can chat with other GTALK contacts who are in your address book while checking your GMAIL on the same web page.

The latest innovation is integrating AOL Instant Messenger with GMAIL chat (GTALK). The simple requirements are:

  • Internet Explorer 7+ or Mozilla Firefox 2+ as your browser

  • Your GMAIL View set to Standard. Check the bottom of your GMAIL to ensure this.

  • With the above setting, you should have your chat contact list displayed to the left-center of your GMAIL window.

  • Below your name under Chat you'll find a dropdown box that'll allow you to change your status. In the same dropdown, you now have the option: Sign Into AIM.

  • Obviously, you'll need an AIM account to log into that :-)

With residential high-speed Internet having crushed AOL in the ISP market, it's Instant Messaging service is probably the only viable product under the AOL umbrella. AIM has a huge proportion in the market of Internet chatters (especially teens, just like facebook and myspace), Google probably thought this was a good idea in order to counter Microsoft and Yahoo!'s collaboration earlier this year. For those who do not know, you can also chat with Yahoo! users from Windows Live (formerly MSN) Messenger and likewise. However, when it comes to download-free, web-based, non-JAVA (but JavaScript) chatting, Google wins. A lot of my friends can only chat via GMAIL/GTALK while they're at work. A lot of employers disallow downloads of AIM/Yahoo Messengers and block JAVA to disable their web-based IM clients as well.

Way to go, big G. However, I think I'm going to continue using meebo at work and at home.

Click here for more info on AIM in GMAIL.

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