analysis: gmail and gchat

  • Why gmail and gchat together?
  • tools for communication broadly
  • tools for communicationg densely
  • more eyeballs, more time spent on ads
  • $$$

I’m sure most people are now aware that gmail’s interface includes not only mail, but a live chat system. Gchat is fully integrated into the email experience. I’ve been wondering why.

I suppose one reason to integrate these two traditionally disparate applications (email versus chat) is to create a better usability experience in communication. By blurring the conceptual line between email and chat, users become more proficient in both areas, making it easier to perform the overriding task of human-to-human communication.

The easier it is to use these tools (facility), and the more powerful these tools become (capability), the more people will use them. Making them easier to use creates a higher degree of facility, as we’ve already seen. But what about capability?

The people at Google have extended the capability of this platform for communication in three ways: adding headlines from syndicated content, adding documents and spreadsheets, and ads. The headlines have become an important part of my email experience. I check emails to orient myself at regular intervals during the day. At the same time, I check on several headlines just to orient myself with the external world. For me, this is an important tool I use to explore new things. I sometimes press Inbox and the little arrows just to get new content in that little area.

Adding documents and spreadsheets provides tools for creating in-depth and high density messages to other people. Which greatly increases the capabilies of their tools. The combination of all these factors creates an intereting side-effect: many more eyeballs glued to Google’s content for longer and longer. What a nice side-effect, especially if you use that space as a place to sell ads!

One Comment

  1. Posted December 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

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