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Now it needs to Unify Google+ and Google Drive..
Originally posted on Gigaom:
Google (s GOOG) took a first big step Monday towards unifying all its messaging products by integrating Google+ Hangouts directly into GMail. The group video chat will replace the traditional 1:1 video calling experience offered by Google Talk. From the announcement blog post:
“Unlike the old video chat, which was based on peer-to-peer technology, Hangouts utilize the power of Google’s network to deliver higher reliability and enhanced quality. While all Gmail users will experience these benefits, if you’ve created a Google+ profile you can invite up to nine other participants to your video meetings and take advantage of advanced features like screen sharing and integrated Google Docs collaboration.”
That being said, people will still be able to make video calls with Hangouts if they haven’t signed up for Google+ yet, but they’re going to be presented with a light version of the Hangouts client that only allows 1:1 video calling. The new feature will be rolled out to personal GMail accounts first, and then come to Google apps accounts in the coming weeks.