How to Send Instant Messages with Google

 ​Google makes it easy to send instant messages to your friends and family. It's fun and free! So let's get started.

Before you begin sending instant messages using Google, you'll need to sign up for a Google account. Having a Google account will give you access to all kinds of great Google products, including Google mail (Gmail)Google HangoutsGoogle +YouTube, and more!

To sign up for a Google account, visit this link, provide the information requested and follow the prompts to complete your registration. 

Next: How to send instant messages using Google

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Send Instant Messages from Google

Google
Google

One easy way to send instant messages using Google is through Google Mail (Gmail). If you already use Gmail, then you know that your contact's information is available from your email history, so it's an easy place to start messaging since you have instant access to your contacts.

Here's how to send instant messages from Gmail using your computer:

  • Log in to your Gmail account
  • One the left hand side of the screen, you'll see a list of your contacts
  • Scroll over the name of the contact that you'd like to message. A box will appear which provides several options: 
    • Clicking on the video camera icon will result in a video call being initiated
    • Clicking on the messaging icon will result in a messaging box to appear, within which you can type your message
    • Clicking on the email icon will launch an email box which you can type an email into
  • You may find that when you scroll over a contact's name, the messaging icon has a "+" sign on it. This indicates that your contact has not used Google to instant message before. In this situation, click the plus sign and your contact will instantly be sent an invitation to chat using Google. Once they respond you can begin messaging with them.
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Tips for Instant Messaging with Google

Google
There are options to access a variety of features in the Google messaging window. Google

Once you begin an instant message session with a friend on Google, you'll find that there are some options available within the messaging screen. These are additional features that you can use while messaging.

Here are some of the features available in the Google messaging screen:

  • There is a video camera icon at the top left of the screen. Clicking on this starts a video chat session. 
  • There is a phone icon in the top menu of the screen. Clicking on this will begin a voice call.
  • There is a "group" icon in the top menu. Clicking on this icon will allow you to access more contacts which you can invite to your messaging session.
  • Tip: If any of the above icons has an "x" on it, then your contact has not activated the feature. Contact them to modify their settings.

There is also a pull-down menu on the right side of the messaging screen. It consists of an arrow and the word "More." Here are the features you'll find under that menu.

  • "Go off the record": Clicking this option allows you to chat without a chat history log being created.
  • Block (contact name): You will see an option to block the person you are chatting with
  • Start video chat: This button allows you to easily change your messaging session into a video chat

That's it! You're all set to start instant messaging using Google. Have fun!

Updated by Christina Michelle Bailey, 8/22/16

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