I was pretty excited when we launched chat integration in Gmail. Finally I could chat and email in one place--but I couldn't chat with friends using other instant messaging services.

From the beginning, Google has been committed to open standards and interoperation for instant messaging. So when our friends at AOL agreed to let Gmail users talk to users on their network, we jumped at the chance.

Today we are happy to tell you about a new feature we've started to roll out which will enable you to sign into your AIM account and chat with your AIM buddies right inside Gmail. When you log in to AIM through Gmail chat, your AOL buddies will appear in your chat list with friends from your Google Talk network, and you will see the yellow "running man" logo to the right of your AIM friends' screen names. To your AIM friends it will look like you are logged in to AIM as usual.

Having more friends to chat with is always more fun and we hope you enjoy this new feature, which we are rolling out today to English Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2 users.

P.S. If you own a large IM network and would like to work with us, have your people contact our people.