Gmail has introduced the ability to send text messages straight from Chat.
First, you need to turn on this feature. Go to Settings, (text link at top right of screen) then Labs. Scroll way down the list to find “Text Messaging (SMS) in Chat” and click Enable next to it. Scroll to the bottom and click Save Changes.
Once you have text messaging turned on, here’s how to send one.
1. Open a Chat with the person you want to text.
You do this by clicking on their name in the Chat list. That will open a chat window.
2. Switch to text messaging.
Click Options in the little Chat window. Click on Send SMS. If you don’t have a cell number saved for this contact, it will open a window to ask for the cell phone number. Enter their cell number and click Save.
3. Type your text message, and press enter.
Gmail reminds you that some carriers charge for each message received.
What is this good for?
It’s just another tool in your communication tool box.
Businesses with some people in the field, some people in the office. Send messages direct from the office without switching to your cell phone. Examples: plumbers sending updated service info, or real estate agents sending schedule changes.
People who hate pecking out text messages. Or people who just hate cell phones.
This only works with US phones on major carriers. My Pioneer Cellular phone, for example, is not supported. So for small town folks, this could be an issue.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.