Google Talk has been around for a while now. It’s so old, that it’s seen competition from the likes of AOL Messenger and Yahoo Messenger too (that was probably the genesis of IMs as we know today). However, the Mountain View company knew that Google Talk was an old product and needed to be revamped and replaced, and that brought about the existence of Hangouts. And now, even as products like Allo and Duo are out and about, Talk remains a preferred mode of communication for desktop users.
But not for long.
Google is finally retiring Talk, which made its first appearance in 2005, and replacing the platform completely with Hangouts. As always, users will get the ‘invite’ to migrate to Hangouts, but unlike previous efforts, this is the final straw. Come June 26, users will have to move to Hangouts if they want to continue chatting.
If you’re still using the Google Talk client within Gmail, you’re going to get an invite to move to Hangouts very soon. After June 26, the switch, as mentioned before, will be mandatory. Unless your company’s Gmail account has contractual dealings with Google – for private accounts though, there’s no exemption.
The switch, for long, has been inevitable, as Google Hangouts has more functionality and with equal dexterity over all the platforms it exists on. However, Google is playing around with a lot of its products and their functionalities. For example, Goohle Hangouts will no longer support text messages, since Google has introduced Android Messages as the default SMS client.
Meanwhile, Google has also created Allo, the AI/Machine learning based chat application, and also has Google Duo, which gives competition to Facetime and WhatsApp video calls. Allo has no web version, and while Hangouts has video calling from web, it’s still not fused with Duo.
In the absence of a unified messaging app from Google with all these features, WhatsApp remains a favourite across most platforms, and Facebook keeps trying to provide more alternatives.