Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Google Introduces Google Talk [Instant Messenger]

Let's face it, Google wouldn’t have been “complete” without one right? I mean, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL have it. Why not Google? Let’s face the truth. Hello, Google’s photo sharing application, can’t really be considered a chat application. It’s not like anyone says “hey I’ll be on Hello when I get home, send me a message.”

I really can’t imagine what it’s like to work for Google right now. They’re churning out services like Oompa Loompas candy at Charlie’s Chocolate Factory. I’m still amazed by the recent Google Desktop Search application with an interegrated sidebar complete with developer extensibility.

I’ve spent the last hour or so playing around with the new Google IM client and have a few thoughts. First of all, although not as "pretty" or "feature full" (look below) as other chat clients I've used; I’d like to commend Google for creating a clean, ad-free, Gmail integrated chat client. Gmail contacts are indexed and easily accessible through the chat client. Multiple chat windows make use of a slick sliding “tabbed” interface navigated using the Tab and Ctrl + Tab combo. The client also serves as a Gmail notification utility.

As of today, you’re only able to text chat / audio chat with other Google users. According to this Google Talk help page future support for mutli-protocol chat is being worked on. I’ve also discovered that inviting non-Google users to Google Talk will send them a Gmail invite. That means unlimited Gmail invites. Who doesn’t have a Gmail account that is still looking?

I’m sure Google will slowly integrate all of its online services into the Google Talk client within the next few months. Download your copy here!

--- Edit (12:00 PM / 24th August 2005) Talk's interface is very simple and doesn't have rich features such as emotion icons, winks etc. Simple is good of course! A very intuitive feature that I liked was; if you place two Talk windows underneath each other they would glue, and you'd be able to drag them both around.What's missing? Multiple party chats and file transfers! It also could use a video conferencing feature. VOIP quality is fair; although a trial with a friend of mine, Karim, resulted in static and irreversible damage to my ear.

--- Edit (1:03 PM / 24th August 2005) Privacy Anyone? I'm not exactly sure if this is true, so please feel free to correct me; Google Talk has the "save chat history" enabled by default; no where do they state where the files will be saved. I checked the registry and my hard drive and was unable to find saved history files; which leads me to believe these are actually stored on google's server!!!!! If true, I wouldn't be surprised if they get slammed with a privacy lawsuit.


Roba said...


Yazan Malakha said...

Yazan: i like the fact that if
i split things among lines
and you don't say anything
it won't repeat the yazan bit
george: ya
Yazan: makes chat less confusing :)
george: :)
Sent at 4:58 PM on Wednesday
george: thats the best thing about it
was just thinking of it
i would prefer a bigger font though
Sent at 5:01 PM on Wednesday
Yazan: no no font messing.. no colors
george: yep
its empty
i dont think i like it

Yazan Malakha said...

I'm no lawyer, but here are paragraph 5 & 6 of Google Talk's terms of service / service agreement.

5. Privacy. As a condition to using the Service and, if applicable, the Client, you agree to the terms of the Google Talk Privacy Policy [], which may be updated from time to time, as expressed in the most recent version that exists at the time of your use. You agree that Google may access or disclose your personal information, including the content of your communications, if Google is required to do so in order to comply with any valid legal process or governmental request (such as a search warrant, subpoena, statute, or court order), or as otherwise provided in these Terms of Use and the Google Talk Privacy Policy. Personal information collected by Google may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country in which Google Inc. or its agents maintain facilities. By using Google Talk, you consent to any such transfer of information outside of your country.

6. General Practices Regarding Use and Storage. You agree that Google has no responsibility or liability for the deletion of, or the failure to store or to transmit, any Content and other communications maintained or transmitted by Google Talk. You acknowledge that Google has set no fixed upper limit on the number of transmissions you may send or receive through Google Talk or the amount of storage space used; Google retains, however, the right to create limits on use and storage at our sole discretion at any time with or without notice.

Does that imply that Google is actually storing chat logs on its servers?!?!?

Yazan Malakha said...

More on this with george.. funny thing is we're using Google Talk to discuss google talk :)

george: :)
so u read it!
google will start selling its lists in the future
and they will do it smartly
Yazan: my thoughts exactly!
george: like if you send me an email on my gmail asking me where to buy cheap mobiles u'll get ads about mobiles only
they'll try to make it convenient but it'll b scary
Yazan: well they already do that with gmail (web version)
that hasn't stopped anybody from using it
george: oh ok
well its crap!
Yazan: it would be more "talk centered".. what's surprising is the fact that this version is AD FREE!
george: :D
Yazan: i believe they will do better targetted ads
george: yep
Yazan: they'll have the same techology that MSN does, only they will filter everyword that you use.. so if i say i like nokia here
then i'm looking for cheap mobiles on their search engine
the top sponsored ad will be "cheap nokia phones"
george: ya, but do u think its good?
Yazan: it's complete invasion of privacy.. it might be convenient
george: i like the idea of having it on outlook
hotmail used to work on outlook
Yazan: but say we were discussing a google killer plan
george: but now u have to pay
Yazan: or any other secretive thing, and some whizz kid, somewhere decides it would be ultra cool to read other people's chat logs ;-)