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Google enables Hangout video chats directly through Gmail

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Google+ video chat "Hangouts" have been a key part of the social network since its launch last year, and now Google has decided to integrate them right into Gmail.

Google+ Hangout in Gmail
Google+ Hangout in Gmail

Google+ video chat "Hangouts" have been a key part of the social network since its launch last year, and now Google has decided to integrate them right into Gmail. Video chat isn't a new feature for Gmail, having first been implemented in 2008, but Google says this will be a more "modern" implementation of video calling — whereas Gmail video chats used peer-to-peer technology, Google+ Hangouts use "the power of Google's network" for increased reliability and quality. You'll also benefit from other Hangout perks, like the ability to chat with nine other people at once — and, of course, the option to use ridiculous video chat "masks." More usefully, you can chat through Gmail directly with people using Google+ on their Android or iOS devices. Given the commitment Google has made to Google+, it doesn't surprise us at all to see Hangouts start to make their way into other services. For those looking to Hangout directly from Gmail, Google says the service rollout is starting today and, as usual, should be available to all users in the coming weeks.