Google is retiring Google Talk, also known as Google Chat, after 12 long years of service. The company is urging Talk users to switch to Hangouts rather than the combination of Duo and Allo. Which suggests that Google still has one (or seven) too many messaging/chat apps on its books.
Back in 2005, before WhatsApp, Messenger, and Snapchat were things, Google launched Google Talk. This was an instant messaging service designed to compete with AIM, ICQ, and MSN Messenger. Thanks to being integrated into Gmail, Google Talk became massively popular. But now it’s being killed off once and for all.
From Google Talk to Hangouts
Google has announced that it’s fully transitioning Google Talk users over to Hangouts. Over the next few weeks Google Talk users will be invited to switch to Hangouts. However, after June 26 this will no longer be optional, with Talk users automatically redirected to Hangouts.
While third-party XMPP clients will “continue to work with Hangouts for 1-on-1 chats […] XMPP federation with third-party service providers” will stop functioning. The Google Talk Android app, which was pulled from the Google Play Store in 2013, will also stop functioning.
To be fair to Google, the company has been trying to get people to start using Hangouts in favor of Talk since 2013. Unfortunately, if you offer people a choice they will generally stick with what they know. Now, having split Hangouts into Chat and Meet, Google is trying to force people to move on.
Google Talk Has Had Its Day
Now is probably the right time for Google to kill Google Talk. This particular messaging app has had its day, having been replaced by countless other Google messaging apps, including the new Supersonic Fun Voice Messenger. And then there’s all the aforementioned alternatives.
Despite all of this, Google Talk users will be sorry to see it go. Just like they were sorry to see Picasa, iGoogle, Google Reader, and countless other apps disappear. And with such a track record for killing off popular services you have to wonder what Google will kill next.
When was the last time you used Google Talk? How do you feel about Google killing Google Talk? Will you be switching from Talk to Hangouts? Has Google still got too many messaging apps? What will Google kill next? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!