Back in October we speculated that multiple IM support was going to be coming to Google Chat after taking a look through the source code and finding info regarding Jabber transports. Sure enough, IM support is now available in Gmail Chat but the only messenger service they’re currently supporting is AOL’s instant messenger. Unfortunately this is a Gmail Chat only option and won’t be available for those using Google Talk. Surprised? Me neither. Once again, Google is shunning Google Talk…
So here’s how it works, sign in to your Gmail account with chat enabled. At the bottom of your contacts list, look for the upside down arrow next to “options” and click it. You’ll notice that the first option is “sign into AIM.” Click it and then a box will pop-up where you’ll be able to sign-in with your AIM screen name and password. Once you’re signed in, you’ll be able to easily chat to both your Gmail Chat contacts and your AOL buddies.
The official announcement from Google explains how this is just one of many new features they plan on launching with the new code structure they have in place for Gmail. Interestingly enough, in the aforementioned article from October, there were a few additional features we mentioned might be coming. One feature was color-coded labels which just launched this week, another was multiple IM support which launched yesterday, and a third was the ability to remove emails from a threaded conversation. Given that Google launched two of those three features this week, I’m thinking there’s a chance we’ll see that third feature by the end of the week. Another thing to keep in mind is that the Gmail team has mentioned that they’re working on some kind of “folder-y-ish” system to work with labels. I’m thinking it might work like that Folders4Gmail Greasemonkey script which would be awesome.
Again, the option to chat with AIM buddies in Gmail Chat is another nice addition. If only they offered the same features for Google Talk, I’d be a happy camper.
Thanks for the tip Cory!