Archive for the ‘gtalk’ Tag

AIM in Gmail: Google’s Strategy to Take Over Chat

Google has added integration for its web-based Gmail with AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). Google Talk, the company’s chat client, competing with AOL, Microsoft’s Windows Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger, has been embedded into Gmail for months. Since practically nobody uses the Talk software, Google’s chat network was little more than people browsing the e-mail in their inboxes and messaging others doing the same at the same time.

But AIM integration changes things. AIM is the most popular instant messaging network in the United States, so now when you login to Gmail, you might end up staying longer to chat with friends. Since Gmail keeps logs of your chats alongside your inbox, it even offers features not traditionally present in the official AIM client. This new feature doesn’t bode well for web-based IM startup Meebo.

Is this a step in the right direction for Google, who would rather its own chat network be the standard, not AOL’s? I think so. It keeps its core e-mail user base, the only ones using Google Talk right now, on the site longer. And maybe when people start seeing their friends using one web site to manage their e-mail and chats, more people will signup for Gmail, in turn creating wider access to Talk in Gmail. Google is taking it one step at a time.