Google to add social networking features to Gmail

The search engine Google will add new features to Gmail to compete with the social networking site F

Google's chat service, which is a part of Gmail, already allows users to post short status updates, similar to the messages on Facebook or microblogging site Twitter.

Google plans to allow its mail users to aggregate the updates of their various contacts on the service, creating a stream of notifications, similar to the real-time streams from other social networking or microblogging services.

Google may also allow users to share their YouTube and Picasa content as well in future.

According to a report on the tech website TechCrunch, Facebook is also planning to upgrade its messaging service to compete directly with Gmail and other internet-based mail services.