Google announced Tuesday it is adding video and audio chat to its free e-mail service, joining Microsoft and Yahoo in a race to make communication on the Web a more social experience.

Both Microsoft and Yahoo offer video with their instant messaging services, but have not integrated it into e-mail.

"I think it's a nice addition and some people will use it, but I don't think it will drive huge adoption of gmail, " said Greg Sterling, of Sterling Market Intelligence, referring to Google's free e-mail service.