Google Talk

august 23, 2005

I guess the talk of the internet is now Google Talk, which could be launched as soon as tomorrow. It's interesting to see Google playing catch up with all their competitors -- Gmail, Maps, RSS, Personalization, etc. The thing with Google is that the very basics of their service is search, which by all means has no stickiness at all: People come, they search and then they go. What internet sites need nowadays is stickiness: People come, use your services, stay on your network and in turn see more of your advertisements. So, it is only obvious that Google has to come up with an Instant Messenger product like Google Talk -- how else will they continue to compete with AOL, Yahoo!, and MSN? The problem I see is that people are tied to their IM clients -- sometimes multiple IM clients. I have an account on all three right now -- AIM, YIM, and MSN Messenger. I use mainly YIM (for obvious reasons), but still have a lot of friends from Sony that I chat with on AIM. MSN Messenger gets almost no chat time at all -- why? All my friends are on AIM and YIM. When Google released Gmail, it was cool for people to get an account there. It was basically accepted because family and friends did not have to get anything extra to continue to communicate with a Gmail user. But, with Google Talk, family and friends will (I assume) have to get the Google Talk client in order to chat. I have my doubts about it being as explosive as a growth as Gmail. That is unless there is some sort of secret sauce that Google added to Google Talk to make it extremely unique when compared to the established instant messenger clients. We will have to wait and see -- the announcement of a new Google product is expected to happen tomorrow.