If you find switching from email to chat using Gmail helpful and convenient, you might be even more glad to know that Google has just enabled voice and video on Gmail’s chat facility. Yes, you read it right, Gmail Chat has become a Skype-like service with pseudo-VOIP features. The new video and voice chat facility offers up an easy-to-use, seamless interface characterized by high-quality audio and video. And that goes without saying that it’s a free service.

To start using the voice and video chat feature in Gmail, you just need to download and install a plugin, which takes almost a few minutes by the way. Make sure that you have enabled the chat facility in your Gmail account then do the following:

  • Login to your Gmail account
  • Click on “Video and more” menu which is located at the bottom of your Gmail chat window
  • Click on “Start video chat”
  • And wait till you see and hear your contact

Additionally, you can make the video screen larger or fullscreen as well. If any of your contact whom you wish to contact via the Gmail voice and video chat facility has not enabled the feature, they will be invited to download and install the plugin. And I don’t see any reason why Gmail Chat users would not want to use this facility. It’s lightweight, sits right on your Gmail and seem to be a pretty stable and robust chat facility.

If Google can fine tune this chat facility some more, Skype ought to be scared.

You may download the video and voice chat plugin here.