Google plans to tweak Gmail to make it easier for its users to post and share status updates, in an attempt to inject the Web mail service with social-networking capabilities popularized by Twitter and Facebook.

A source close to Google this afternoon said the new social networking features for Gmail will be unveiled early Tuesday afternoon. The company declined to disclose the new feature plans today.

The updates would make Google the latest consumer Internet company to try to graft social-networking features into online communications services. Yahoo and AOL have already taken steps to "socialize" their respective Web mail and instant-messaging services.

How successful Google and the others will be in replicating the allure of the social-networking sites' experience in their Internet communications services is still unclear.

Full story: Computerworld