Google is shutting down Talk (aka GChat) for good – the instant messaging service you probably haven’t used much since 2007 (via android police† Although Google Talk migrated users to Google Hangouts in 2017 — another one of its now sidelined messaging platforms — it was still accessible to third-party XMPP clients like Pidgin and Gajim.
But Google will stop this last life support on June 16, in three days’ time. In a message on Talk . support pageGoogle says it is “phasing out Google Talk” and no longer supporting third-party apps, citing the first announcement in 2017† Users who try to log in to GChat after the 16th will see a login error. If you still want to use Pidgin through Google services, Pidgin recommends using this plugin for Google Chat instead.
Google Talk came into existence in 2005 as a way for users to send instant messages directly through Gmail. Later it expanded to voice and video calls and even allowed group chats. Google discontinued the service in 2017 in favor of Hangouts, a messaging service introduced in 2014 that put Google in the spotlight at the time.
But in typical Google fashion, it just had to change things up for users again, renaming 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 will disappear soon,” with links directing them to Google Chat.
Google encourages people who access Google Talk through third-party apps to switch to Google Chat, but don’t get too comfortable. If history is any indication, it won’t be long before Google shifts its focus on messaging with yet another new service or rebrand.