Are you a Gmail user who enjoys the video chat feature? Starting now, and rolling out gradually over the next few weeks, that feature is going to be going through a major change. The feature will now go through Google+ Hangouts instead of the standard chat it used before.
For people who do not use Google Plus, you will still be able to make use of the improved features that come with this update. If you and the person you are speaking with both have Google+, you will get “even more from the Hangouts experience.” Either way, this is not an optional update, and whether or not you are a Plus user, your Gmail video chats will use Hangout’s infrastructure.
So what is the benefit for Gmail users? The first is that the old Gmail chat relied on peer-to-peer technology and Hangouts uses Google’s infrastructure for improved performance. In addition, you get the benefits of having up to nine people chatting at once, watching YouTube videos together and sharing your screen with each other.
For those professional meetings, Google+ Hangouts offers plenty of corny effects you can add. You can give yourself a stylish mustache and other fun stuff.
Overall, this is a great update for Gmail. It keeps the same video calling functionality that users expect with some cool improvements. It adds some better performance and cool features that should improve the user experience overall.
Source: Gmail Blog