Google+ Chat Rolls Out

Google+ gets more social.

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Google has added a new chat feature to Google+. When I opened up the service this morning, I was greeted with a message that said:

Google Plus Chat

If you click that “learn more” link, Google says, “Google Chat makes it easy to chat with people you have relationships with. In Google+, you can chat with anyone in your Circles who also has added you to their Circles. And, when you’re not using Google Plus, you’ll still be able to chat with them using Google products including, Gmail, the Google Talk client, iGoogle, Orkut and 3rd party apps.”

Previously, you could only chat with people if you knew their email address, so this opens up a whole new line of instant communication, and eliminates one of Facebook’s advantages in terms of features.

Rather than displaying all of your contacts in a single chat list, it will show you contacts from your most recent conversations that are online. You can also use the search box to find the others.

Chat in Google Plus

Chat is obviously one of the most social features of any product online. It’s direct, instant conversation. I don’t know how crucial it is to the success of Google+, but it certainly can’t hurt. I know Facebook chat gets used quite a bit.

Google needs to integrate the group messaging of the Google+ mobile app here as well. As it stands right now, I have an ongoing discussion going among myself and a few other people via the messaging feature, but no way to access that conversation from the web interface (or if I do, it’s extremely hidden).

It’s interesting that Google+ launched with video chat (hangouts) ahead of text chat, but now it has both, and should be better for it. By the way, you can video chat from the chat feature itself as well.

Google+ Chat Rolls Out
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  • http://www.PlacesToEatOkay.com Steven

    To be honest I don’t use web based chat because it’s annoying when I’m trying to look at a web page and a box pops up. For Facebook chat, I connect through Yahoo messenger and disable the web chat. This way I can have windows open minimized and alert me on the bottom of the screen that I have somebody that has said something to me and I can choose to read it or not. This is just one more of Google shooting from the hip and taking cues from the rest of the world of social networking on where they should be. Where is the innovation? Do we really need every single social networking site to simply have the features of the next and do the “hey guys, we have chat now, you should join our social network site”. Google already tried that with games and that didn’t seem to work. If that’s all it takes to convince a user to join up, sure. But I seriously doubt it will. It won’t for me. Google+ in my opinion needs to become a social networking hub, not a social networking site itself. When Google started out, it’s mission was to connect what was not easily connectable. Websites. If Google wants to stay in the social networking game they need to integrate and be a part of instead of trying to run the game. Imagine if no matter what popular social networking site you were using that you would log into Google+ to use it. I suggest they get a jump on that before Facebook figures it out or it’s over with for Google+. Already Yahoo Messenger has Facebook and Twitter integration. When is Google ever going to learn. Maybe never since they’re only concerned with themselves. If it was really about making the world better, they would wake up to the fact that users want Facebook, they want twitter, and so Google+ should bring not just those networks, but others to Google+. Google+ should be about everything social, not a brand new network from the ground up. Everybody is taking their cues from Google when it comes to search, and so Google needs to learn that lesson and stop taking cues from the social networking sites and simply integrate. You’re never going to be #1 when you keep on looking over your shoulder to see what you should be doing next.

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