It was one year ago that Google and AOL announced the possibility of cross-compatibility between their instant messenger clients. They didn’t explicitly say in the press release that it was a guaranteed thing and made sure to cover themselves: “Enabling Google Talk and AIM instant messaging users to communicate with each other, provided certain conditions are met.” Maybe the whole “Google will invest $1 billion for an effective 5% equity stake in America Online, Inc.” didn’t turn out quite like Google had planned. Or maybe Google was concerned that AOL would leak their member’s data. ;) Sorry, couldn’t resist that one.
I really love Google Talk now that I have all of my friends using it, so the AIM compatibility isn’t that important for me. I think that most of my friends who I have convinced to use Google Talk still use AIM though, so they would probably love to condense it down to one messenger. That leaves a question up for grabs…for those of you who use both instant messengers which application would you choose to use if you could chat with your friends on either network?
Earlier this summer Yahoo and Microsoft tied their instant messenger services together to form an absolutely enormous group of users. I think that the cross-compatibility remains an important feature but with services like Meebo and applications like Gaim it is becoming less and less important. The tools are already available if people want to easily connect to other instant messenger networks, but they just have to go look for them.
News Source: Micro Persuasion