Google launches voice and video chat

Google's Web-based video chat

Google's Web-based video chat

Search engine Google has launched Gmail voice and video chat, making it possible for people around the world to chat in high-quality video for free within Gmail.

With a webcam and a small Web browser plug-in, you can start video chatting on Gmail and Google Apps.

There is no need to switch to another application or sign up for another account.

If you don't have a webcam, you can chat by voice.

Gmail voice and video chat is being rolled out globally in all 50 languages supported by Gmail, from English to Oriya to Telugu, on PCs and on Macs. Google Apps customers get this service at no extra charge and can video chat with any other Gmail or Apps users.

Growing in popularity

The launch comes as video communication grows in popularity, with many of the latest lines of laptops, for example, coming with built-in webcams.

Google is offering browser-based voice and video chat as a natural extension to webmail and instant messaging.

Video chat is the latest in a weekly stream of Gmail features that includes, Gmail for mobile 2.0 and animated emoticons.

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