New York: Internet giant Google is looking to add new social features to its e-mail service, Gmail, in its bid to compete with popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, a media report says.
“Google Inc is taking a swipe at Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc with a new feature that makes it easier for users of Gmail to view media and status updates shared online by their friends,” The Wall Street Journal said.
Attributing to people familiar with the matter, the report stated that Google could announce the new Gmail features as soon as this week.
The change adds a module to the Gmail screen that would display a stream of updates from individuals a user chooses to connect with, it added. It is a format popularised by Facebook and Twitter.
Last year, another internet major Yahoo Inc has added a similar feature to Yahoo Mail which allowed users to see whether friends have uploaded a photo to a site like Flickr.
The new stream would eventually include content that a user’s connections share through Google’s YouTube video site and Picasa photo service, WSJ said citing a person familiar with the matter as saying.
Google’s move comes after Facebook last week rolled out a new design with a message inbox that more closely resembles an email inbox like Gmail’s. The social-networking company said it had roughly 400 million users. Gmail had 176 million unique visitors in December, as per comScore data.