Up until now, one of the best features that came with Gmail was Gchat – an instant messaging feature that allows you to chat with other Google users or team members. However, Google announced yesterday the service is scheduled to hit the chopping block in June.
But before you panic, there’s good news!
Google Talk users will be rolled over to Hangouts – a move that has been years in the making. Since Hangouts has the same Gchat functionality, not a whole lot will change. You may be thinking “What’s the catch?”
Well, the biggest change is that Google Talk for Android is going away too. Google notes it will be added to Android Messages also scheduled to receive features like “read receipts, group chat, hi-res photo sharing and more,” sometime before Gchat ceases to exist.
GoogleTalk first launched in 2005, originally aimed for adults and is currently one of the most-widely used IM services, with an estimated 7.5 million active users. In the extremely crowded field of instant messaging applications, Gchat was beloved by its users – reliable, convenient and private. The last feature aimed at chatterboxes at work across North America talking smack about their bosses and coworkers on a regular basis.
Eight years later in 2013, Google launched Hangouts, a second chat application that allows user to text, voice, or video chat with their friends. In a blog post, Google states, “Hangouts offers advanced improvements over Google Talk such as group video calling, and integration with other Google products.”
So, why should you like the change?
Even though you might be a bit disgruntled with the decision, you have to know that it’s for the best. Google is persistent with improving and changing their products. After all, they have to evolve in this domain in order to stay on top, and quitting old products is part of growth.
“With the introduction of Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat, which will add further improvements in meetings and team collaboration, it is now time to say goodbye to Google Talk.”