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Friday, June 22, 2007

Google Group Chat Feature Released

It’s a small feature, but much requested, and with interesting implications for all Google Talk users: the browser-based Google Talk gadget now allows you to create multi-user chat rooms. To open such a room, click on “Group Chat” button at the top of any normal conversation; you can then invite several people (and this will work for them whether they use the gadget, or the Google Talk desktop program).

Since some time now, the Google Talk* desktop client is officially worse than the web-based chat; the only problem I had last time I used the web-based client was a lack of “... is typing” messages, but either this was a temporary bug on my end, or it has now also been added to the gadget feature list (as it works now). Ionut Alex. Chitu makes a bet though that “we’ll see a major new [Google Talk] release in the coming weeks that will add all the new features from the web version, phone calls and more.” Admittedly, there’s little need to have an additional Google instant messenger that needs installation, when the Flash-based web version can be just as good.

*Google Talk (released August 24th 2005) is the older brother of the Google Talk gadget (released March 14th 2007); another web variant is Gmail Chat (released February 8th 2006).

[Thanks Henrique Gusso, Dominik and Andreas!]


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