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September 29, 2006

Google Talk Doesn't Require Gmail Anymore

Google realized that one of the reasons Google Talk has such a small number of users is that you need to have a Gmail account to use it. And that wasn't too necessary. Of course, you had your Gmail contacts, mail notification, your chats were searchable in Gmail and the voicemail you received looked better, but the basic client doesn't need a Gmail address.

Google Blog reports that now anyone can try Google Talk, if they have a Google Account. So if you're in this situation, you just have to sign up for GTalk, choose a nickname, and get the client (1.5 MB, Windows 2000/XP). You'll notice that the interface still talks about Gmail and features like mail notification are visible, but don't work.

Google claims "there are millions of people around the world to chat with".

Update: Google also released Google Talk, fixing some bugs, and introducing others. Offline contacts and those who use Gmail Chat have non-working options like "Call" and "Send files".

Some reasons to try Google Talk
Google Talk tips and tricks
Why Google Talk will be the best IM client


  1. Shameless plug: You can also use Google Talk from your mobile phone, check out mgtalk-http (it works with almost every mobile operator, because it uses only HTTP, no sockets here)

  2. google talk needs public chat rooms. only then google talk can go near to compete with yahoo messenger.

  3. I don't know about public chat rooms, but definitely chats between multiple people. At least text chats, conference calls would be nice, too.

  4. If you want to suggest features for Google Talk, this place is for you.

    Some of the most suggested features:
    Rich text for outgoing chats
    Multi-user chats
    Conference calls
    Video conferencing
    Appear invisible or offline
    Offline message delivery
    Mac or Linux versions
    Call and message encryption
    Calls to regular phone numbers

  5. there's one thing i don't understand. When I chose a nickname, it made it into a gmail address.

    My google account was When i chose my nickname, it also became However, i can't log into gmail through this, only GTalk and other Google services. Any idea why?

  6. Here's the deal. Your Google account uses the mail You choose a nickname in GTalk called nick. Google assigns a virtual Gmail account called You can't use this mail address in Gmail (that is, you don't actually get a Gmail account), but you can login in Google Talk with one of these:
    * nick

    If you log in with with, you'll see next time you load Google Talk, nick in the username field.

    I think that when Gmail goes public, you'll actually get a Gmail address with that username. Until then...

  7. The false Gmail account is necessary because does not provide a Jabber server yet, and so you cannot use XMPP-based IM with an address.

  8. yre: "call" option for offline contacts and Gmail Chat.

    Voice mail does not work unless you can call offline contacts.

  9. I use gtalk daily for talking with my parents....I'm really thankful to google talk....I would love to see google talk with the following features...
    > Invisible to users
    > Support for Graphic emoticons
    > Video Chat
    > Audio Conferencing

  10. Google always talks about user privacy but I unable to grasp that despite such a large hue and cry for being invisible in Gtalk, nothing has been done.

  11. Please anybody convince google to develop google talk for macs. I absolutely love it and i cant use it. I have a mac laptop and i'm overseas right now, and i cant talk to my friends and boyfiend. Using skype is not hte best option. PLEASE we, mac users, desperately need google talk for macs!!!

  12. Lena, Google Talk has been supported forever on the Mac, just not officially by Google. Just use adium ( It's supported Google Talk since it came out. It also supports MSN, MySpace, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, and more. If you don't want to install the client, you can also use Google Talk in your Firefox browser.

  13. I still cant find any one to chat with

  14. though Google Talk currently doesnot supports, invisible mode, however, there some hacks in other OpenSource IM clients that can make you invisible and then still you can chat with your freinds and family. To know how, have a look at the following page..

  15. GTalk really doesn't need all those features someone listed above. One of the reasons Gtalk is so fresh, is because it's a BS free chat program, much "lighter" than most of it's counterparts.
    No stupid graphic smiley's, flash animations or nudges.
    There are really so many other programs that do all the things requested such as calling regular numbers... why burden Gtalk with this, when it's the lightness of the program that makes it so appealing.
    Also programs that specialize in multi-chat platforms usually enable a lot of these extra features.

    The only suggesting I would sort of enjoy is the multi-user chat, but I can live easily without it.

  16. oit won't work on my friend in txas' mac

  17. Anyone know how to recover chat history on google talk,via your hotmail account? meaning if you have a hotmail account and using in gtalk, can you save your chat history somewhere?