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3.1 Chat settings
In your Gmail settings, click on 'Chat' to manage your 'chat' settings.  Here you have the option to turn chat on or off.  In addition you can
  • Save or not save chat history - If you save it you will be able to search for chat conversation later.  You also have the option to 'go off the record' while chatting.
  • Auto add suggested contacts - use this to either manually manage your chat partners or allow people you communicate with often to be in your chat list.
  • Call Phones - enable or disable the ability to 'call phones' from your account.
  • Voice and Video Chat - Choose the camera, microphone and speakers you will use for your chat, video and voice contacts.  Verify the working settings for each component by clicking on 'verify your settings.'
  • Sounds - turn notification settings on or off
  • Emoticons - choose whether emoticons are animated or not.
3.2  Invite someone to chat
  1. In the search box at the top of the Chat area, type your friend's username. If they're already in your Contacts, Gmail will pre-populate their username.
  2. Click Invite to chat.
Note:  If you would like to chat with more than one person click the person icon at the top of the chat window and in the field, add people to this chat, type the names of the people you want to invite.

3.3 Get the Voice & Video Chat Plugin
In Gmail you can use the 'chat' option to have video chats, online chats, or even make 'voice' calls to phones.  To get started with chat:
1.  Download Google Voice & Video Chat Plugin:

3.4  Video Chat
When using chat in your Gmail account, you can start a 'Hangout' (video chat) with another person by clicking on the 'Hangouts' icon at the top of the chat window.  Here you will be prompted to 'start a hangout.

1.  Select the person from your chat list
2.  Click on the 'Invite to Hangout' icon
3.  If you do not have a Google + account a hangout window will appear and you will have the option to 'invite' the person to a 'hangout' which is a video chat.
4.  If you have Google + enabled you can invite up to 15 people into the Hangout and you will be prompted to invite people and even 'name' the hangout.

3.1 Chat Settings

3.2 Invite to Chat

3.3 Enable Voice & Video Chat

3.4 Chat and Hangout