Not for long however, as the two are about to become interoperable; meaning Google Talk and AIM users will be able to chat regardless of which service they use for the first time.
As part of the change, AOL users will no longer be able to log into AIM from the Gmail sidebar. AOL suggests users continue to use AIM as a desktop (or mobile) client, slowly adding Gmail buddies or use Google Talk as normal and add your AIM buddies simply by their email address. The change might take some users a while to import contacts, and a notice on the AIM website suggests they’re working on a quicker migration process.
AOL are developing an importer which should allow users to migrate their entire AIM buddy list to Google Talk. Users who are already happy with the AIM client will be able to add Gmail contacts, though the process can be a laborious process: one at a time.
Anyone interested in switching from AIM to Google Talk as part of the shake-up should be aware that status indications (“Available”, “Away” and so on) are only possible from AIM, according to AOL. As to when this new functionality will land? It appears AOL are rolling out the change gradually: “You will be notified in Gmail when this new functionality is enabled for your account.”
Will this IM shake-up affect you? Will you miss logging in to AIM from Gmail? Will you switch from AIM to Google Talk? Let us know what you think in the comments.