The rivalry between Google and Facebook is set to intensify with both planning improvements to their messaging services.
Google is expected to announce new features for its Gmail service to counter Facebook's plans to upgrade its messaging service.
Google is planning to roll out a feature that will allow Gmail users to easily view and set detailed social status updates, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In April 2009, Sam Schillace, director of engineering at Google, told Computer Weekly that Google was planning to develop tools to help users to manage and sift through personal data.
This would expand Gmail into a service that will allow users to manage all their internet communications, including alerts and chat sessions, he said.
The new functionality, which is expected soon, will enable Gmail users to display a stream of status updates from contacts, similar to the real-time streams from Facebook and Twitter.
At the same time, Facebook is planning to upgrade its messaging service, which is still not connected to other e-mail systems.
Facebook is planning to upgrade this messaging service to compete directly with Gmail and other internet-based mail systems, according to tech website TechCrunch.