Instant messaging is one of the most essential tools for online productivity nowadays. With brick-and-mortar businesses moving into the Internet and Internet businesses growing into the mainstream, connectivity is a must. Instant messaging is becoming the tool for online communication as it’s almost as good as talking face to face.
Instant messaging is better than email in that the messages get sent in â€œreal timeâ€. While email is sometimes dependent on the speed of the servers, instant messages get sent as soon as one clicks â€œsendâ€ or presses â€œenterâ€. The main instant messaging clients like Yahoo Messenger, America online Instant Messenger (AIM), and Google Talk are the most used. Most of these accounts need to have client programs downloaded to the user’s computer. There are also third-party software that can be used to access accounts from these providers, like the Gaim for Linux. Gaim, (renamed Pidgin) can be used with the major instant messaging companies.
Google Talk’s client is probably the lightest and the easiest to use so far, in my experience. Opening it is faster than AIM, and is much, much faster compared to Yahoo Messenger. Its features include voice calls, voice mail, email notifications and even file transfers. The only thing it can’t do that Yahoo Messenger can is video chatting.
Google Talk made instant messaging a lot more accessible by providing its own web/browser-based Gtalk client. While a lot of Internet users have their own computers and can download as many programs as they want, the vast majority do not. They only access the Internet from Internet stations and cafe’s. Some cafe’s restrict downloading programs not already installed on the shop’s computers, so the net cafe users cannot access instant message clients readily. Also, quite a lot of other users are behind office or school firewalls, and so they cannot use instant messengers either. With Google Talk made available as a browser-based application, these users can now access their accounts and chat with contacts with a few clicks of the mouse button.
My first impression of the web-based Gtalk is that it is so similar to the downloadable client, that you couldn’t tell the difference between them at all. Almost. There may be a few differences like some details in the interface, but it’s still clean, it still loads fast, and it still looks like Gtalk the program.
It has tabs, so you can switch chat windows easily, and it launches instantly. To launch the Google Talk web application, just go to Google’s homepage, click the â€œMoreâ€ link, then look for the link â€œTalkâ€ on the right panel, under the â€œCommunicate, show & shareâ€ field. You will be taken to the Google Talk Beta page, where there is a blue button on the right side that says. â€œLaunch Google Talkâ€. As soon as you click that, the web client is launched. If you’re logged in through your Google Toolbar, you are instantly taken to the application window, which is resized to be as small as the Google Talk client.
Google Talk web may well be the rival to Meebo, though Google Talk web is definitely just for Google accounts. While Meebo supports the different accounts, from Yahoo to MSN to AIM, if you use Google Talk as your main instant messaging account, then you would find the web client a very useful tool. Behind firewalls, in Internet cafes, on a computer that cannot support any other programs, Google Talk web could prove to be pretty handy indeed.