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June 5, 2008

Google Talk Adds Invisible Status

Some Google applications need a lot of time to add even the most basic features. Gmail Chat added the invisible status in February and now this feature is also available in the Google Talk gadget and in Google Talk Labs Edition. Don't ask about the classic Google Talk client, which was last updated in January 2007.


In a previous post, many people argued that it's not wise to add the invisible status because the instant messaging becomes less useful as more people become "invisible". "It's like one-way spying. If you're going to be online to see if your friends are online, at least have the respect to show other people that you're online. What happens if both you and your friend want to talk to each other, but are both on invisible? You'll never discover that you're online," commented Jyvyn.

One solution for this problem could be to show different statuses, depending on your contacts. "What would be most helpful would be some sort of 'group block' or 'group invisible'. I have a number of work contacts that use g-chat so I need to be on and available, but often I am interrupted by friends wanting to chat and I have to ignore them or interrupt my work to explain I can't talk. If I could add all my work contacts to a group, and show my status to them as online, while showing everyone else away, invisible, or even offline - now that would be useful," said nauthiz693.

Integrating Gmail's contact groups with Google Talk is an obvious next step, but this might require many months of coding. After all, adding the invisible status is probably the second most notable feature added by Google Talk this year, after the chatback badges.

{ Thanks, Carlos. }

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