What's with the "Chats" option in Google's Gmail?
I know that Google has quite a bit of reach in the Internet world, but I'm a bit surprised and anxious to see that "Chats" is now a new category in my regular old Gmail account. What's up with that?
I noticed that just showed up on Gmail too, and I'm both intrigued and a bit alarmed about it too. First it was email, then there was the Google IM and VOIP client Google Talk, which seems pretty cool, but now Google wants to archive all of our chat sessions in Gmail? And then, inevitably, show us contextually related adwords ads when we're reviewing the chat transcripts?
Well, before we get too paranoid, let's have a quick look at what they've unveiled.
First off, your side navigation in Gmail now looks like this:
Click on Chats and you'll find out:
As you can see, I haven't saved any chat transcripts, but it's interesting to see that the IM feature is going to be incorporated into Gmail in the future.
Fortunately, it appears that Google recognizes that there are privacy and confidentiality issues with this feature too. Clicking on "Settings" reveals:
Here's how Google explains this new "off the record" feature: "Chats that have been taken off the record aren't stored in your Gmail chat history, or in the Gmail chat history of your contact. You and the person you're talking to can both see when a chat is taken off the record, and you'll be notified if off the record mode is disabled. Your off the record settings will apply whenever you chat with this person, until one of you makes a change."
Nice design, at least, with future chats defaulting to not being saved once you make that change, but there are still privacy issues and still a question of whether anyone will want to have their chat transcripts in their Gmail account.
More Useful Computer and Internet Basics Articles:
✔ How do I blur my house on Google Maps Street View?
I was poking around on Google Maps looking at satellite views of my neighborhood and when I switched to street view, was upset...✔ Create a custom vanity URL for Kickstarter?
I was reading some updates on Twitter and saw someone had posted a URL that would let me see what projects they'd backed...✔ Export or Save Subscription List from Google Reader?
Just heard that Google Reader is going away this summer. That stinks! How am I supposed to read my RSS feeds? More importantly,...✔ Shrink or Reduce a Photo File Size on Mac?
I'm trying to upload some photos to a social media site and it's complaining that they're too big. They are, as they come...✔ Can I organize my Yahoo Mail with folders?
I've been on Yahoo Mail for years and while most of my friends are now on Gmail or their own Web-based email programs,...
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up for my weekly AskDaveTaylor Newsletter and you'll receive even more tech and gadget help right to your inbox, along with exclusive news and industry updates. It's good stuff. I promise!
I do have a comment, now that you mention it!
Check This Out Too...
Look for Answers
All Our Categories
Apple iPad Help
Articles and Reviews
Auctions and Online Shopping
Blogs and Blogging
Building Web Site Traffic
Business and Management
Computer and Internet Basics
d) None of the Above
Google Gmail Help
Google Plus Help
Industry News and Trade Shows
iPhone and Cell Phone Help
iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help
Kindle Fire Help
Mac OS X Help
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Shell Script Programming
Tech Support Video Help
The Writing Business
Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Network Help
Unix and Linux Help
Video Game Tips and Help
Windows PC Help
Find Me on Google+
ADT on G+