As announced today, Google has decided to hammer the final nail in Google Talk’s coffin. In its continued attempt to further simplify its communication stack (an understatement), the tech giant is taking the one step it should’ve definitely taken a long time ago. It has decided to replace our beloved GChat with Hangouts, which was first released to take its place in 2013. But, Google had provided users an option to stick with the older interface if they want. Not anymore, past June 26.
This development is almost as surprising as the shuttering of Yahoo Messenger, because Nostalgia. Google has introduced Google Talk into the Gmail experience back in 2005 (yes, it has been that long) to provide users with an easy messaging tool. You could easily pick a contact and the pop-up window would enable you to relay messages without having to exchange emails back and forth. It was updated with the introduction in 2013 and it took some time for Google to extend its reach across platforms.
Well, it seems the transition is finally coming to an end and it’s time to bid an old friend goodbye. Google Talk user on Gmail will soon start seeing prompts, inviting them to make the switch to Hangouts. It is just a click away, simple. Further, the legacy Google Talk app on Android has been absent from the scene for long but it will also not be supported past June 26. Post the said date, Hangouts is said to automatically become your default messaging client.
Google Hangouts has recently bagged an upgrade and has now been segregated into two enterprise-focused apps called Chat and Meet. And as their names suggest, Chat will come in handy for messaging your colleagues while Meet will be useful for video or audio calls on the go. This being the prominent reason for the company going forward with the decision to retire the tool after an impressive 12-year long stint.
With the introduction of Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat, which add further improvements in meetings and team collaboration, it is now time to say goodbye to Google Talk.
As for Google’s current communication strategy, it is focused on providing an intuitive user experience to both consumers, as well as enterprises. The same is being done through a pretty messy and loaded strategy with a cohort of apps, but the tech giant is now trying to clean up its act. A two-phase strategy is being driven on the consumer front with the help of messaging app Allo (integrates Google Assistant) and video calling app Duo (now allows audio-only calls).
Plus, the SMS texting front is being led by Android Messages, which the tech giant is now trying to push to the frontline by removing support for it from Hangouts. And that’s a great move because the default messaging app for Android now comes with RCS support. This means rich communication, using emoji, GIFs, and other nifty features, is now possible via this app. And Google recently drove its campaign to add support 50+ carriers to the same.
RIP Google Talk!