Google is permanently deactivating Talk (also known as GChat), their instant-messaging program that you presumably have not used since 2007. (via Android Police). Although Google transferred Talk users to Google Hangouts in 2017 – another of its now-defunct IM systems — third-party XMPP clients like Pidgin and Gajim could still access it.
Surprisingly, Google Talk is still running, but it will end on Thursday
Google Talk emerged in 2005 as a way for users to send instant messages directly through Gmail. It later expanded to voice and video calls and even allowed for group chats. Google discontinued the service in 2017 in favor of Hangouts, a messaging service introduced in 2014 that Google was highlighting at the time.
However, Google will turn off these remaining lifelines on June 16th, just three days from now. Google said it is “winding down Google Talk” and will not support third-party apps in a notice on Talk’s help page, citing its 2017 announcement. If you try to sign into GChat after the 16th, you will get an error message. If you still want to use Pidgin through Google services, Pidgin recommends using this plugin for Google Chat instead.
But in typical Google fashion, it just had to change things for users once again, rebranding Hangouts Chat to Google Chat in 2020 and then replacing the original Hangouts with Google Chat for Workspace users earlier this year. Hangouts is still available on the web for free Google Account users, but they’ll also see warnings that “Hangouts is going away soon,” with links pushing them over to Google Chat.
Google’s encouraging people who accessed Google Talk through third-party apps to transition to Google Chat — but don’t get too comfortable. If past history is any indication, then it won’t be long until Google shifts its messaging focus with yet another new service or rebrand.
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