Google, Time Warner Bring AOL Instant Messenger To Gmail

Mountain View (CA) - Google's somewhat underwhelming chat feature inside Gmail has now been energized with integration with the most popular IM service.

If you think you've heard this before, you probably have. Google initially talked about a partnership with AOL back in 2004, and was supposed to have the deal complete by the end of last year.

However, delays made it seem like the AIM integration promise would never actually come true. It has finally happened, with Gmail users able to send messages to AIM users directly within their inbox.

"AIM in Gmail is not a Google Talk and AIM federation; it's the ability to sign in to your AIM messaging account from Gmail. Gmail uses Open AIM to provide this feature," writes Google.

The feature is available by selecting the AIM logo under the "options" tab of "Google Chat".