Software engineer Jessan Hutchison-Quillian posted a blurb on The Official Gmail Blog late last night. Hutchison-Quillian says, "My friends always hate it when I multitask in other tabs while chatting with them (they can tell because of my obviously delayed reactions...). But sometimes it's not my fault: if they send me a link to a YouTube video, I have to open another tab in order to watch it."
I have experienced the same thing. In fact, it happens all the time. Chat is a great environment to share links, especially to videos that your employer may filter out if sent via e-mail. It is all too easy to get caught up in the video and momentarily forget about the friend who sent you the link.
Hutchison-Quillian continues, "To help with this, we've just added a new feature to Gmail chat: YouTube and Google Video previews. If you receive (or send) a link to a video in a chat message, you'll see a preview of the video right in your chat window. Click the preview, and the video will play right there."
I tested it out with a friend this morning and it worked flawlessly. Being able to see the video preview while chatting was great, and let me multitask better.
Feel free to check it out yourself.