Google Talk Changes the Way You AIM

Posted: May 21, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Google Talk Changes the Way You AIM

Google Talk

If you’re a Gmail, Orkut, iGoogle, or Android user, you can now chat with friends and coworkers who use the popular AIM instant messaging service even if you don’t have an AIM account.

Since 2007, Gmail has let you sign into an AIM account to access this type of interoperability, but yesterday, Google announced in a blog post that the search, Web service, and mobile OS giant is now using a new capability from AIM called “federation.”

Federation works both ways; AIM users can also now add Gmail users to their buddy lists. The difference for Google Talk, though, is that you’re not signed into your AIM account, so if someone sends a message there, it won’t arrive. You won’t be communicating from your AIM account, but from your Gmail account to the AIM user on the other side. Now, instead of just being able to enter an AIM address and start IMing, you’ll have to invite the contact to your Gmail account.

The changes also mean that Android users will now be able to instant message their AIM contacts using the preloaded Google Talk app. However, Android users have been able to install the AIM appfor over a year.

AOL has created a two-step process that allows Gmail users to import all their AIM contacts at once. But all conversations will now go to the Gmail address rather than to your original AIM address. Any IM client software, such as Digsby, Trillian, or AIM itself, will no longer see these conversations if you log into your AIM account.

In some ways, the move seems to offer less AIM integration than before, but it makes sense for Google to try to get more people on Google Talk, rather than serve as an AIM client. But for those who never created an AIM account, it will be a useful communication option.

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