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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Chat With AIM Users From Gmail

After introducing colored labels earlier this week, Google now seems to be rolling out a web-based client for AOL Instant Messenger chatting as part of Gmail. You will still need an AIM account, as Google Talk and AOL are not joining forces, but Google is merely using the Open AIM framework. Ionut Alex. Chitu foreshadowed this functionality in his blog a while ago.

To see if you’ve already got this feature, log-in to Gmail and open the chat box status menu by clicking the arrow icon next to your name in that box. You should be seeing a menu entry reading “Sign into AIM.” Also, your Settings -> Chat options dialog in Gmail will contain a new section labeled “AIM” at the bottom, as above picture from Luka of French Google blog Zorgloob shows.

Note that Google on their Gmail/ AIM help pages mention that you will have to periodically re-enter your AIM password, as they are not saving it but just using it to get a token from AOL.

I don’t have this feature yet, but I think as soon as I get it I’ll uninstall the AIM desktop client. It might be neat if Google rolls out their AIM functionality to the standalone Google Talk web app as well (I’m using that one instead of Gmail chat).

[Thanks Luka!]


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