Not wanting to be left behind by the social networking storm, Google is set to roll out as early as this week, a Twitter-like feature for Gmail, according to reports.

The media giant is reportedly set to expand Gmail to include social networking features such as status updates and media sharing in a layout that duplicates popular sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Google could announce the new Gmail feature as soon as this week, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.

Yahoo added a similar feature to it's email offering last year, allowing users to see what their friends are doing while they check their email.

Spokespeople for the search engine giant have declined to comment on the new features or their launch date.

Users will also be able to see a stream of status updates from people they choose to connect with.