Google is shutting down Talk (also known as GChat) for good — its instant-messaging service you probably haven’t used much since 2007 (via Android Police). Although Google migrated Talk users over to Google Hangouts in 2017 — another one of its now-sidelined messaging platforms — it was still accessible by third-party XMPP clients like Pidgin and Gajim.
But Google will cut these last lines of life support on June 16th — three days from now. In a message on Talk’s support page, Google says it’s “winding down Google Talk” and will no longer support third-party apps, citing its initial announcement in 2017. Users who try to sign into GChat after the 16th will see a sign-in error. If you still want to use Pidgin through Google services, Pidgin recommends using this plugin for Google Chat instead.
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.
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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