Gchat, also known as Google Talk, was introduced back in 2005 as a simple chat experience between Gmail users but was relatively underpowered. Hangouts was supposed to address its biggest weaknesses and boasted a richer feature-set when it was released in 2013, but some die hard Gchat users still stuck by the service. Google still supported the service and allowed it to live on while offering a more robust alternative with Hangouts. But the day of reckoning has arrived and it is now forcing users to switch.
The functions of the services are essentially the same, but it’ll still be hard for users to let go. Google is also making some changes to Hangouts including removing SMS from the service. You can read more about that here.
Even with Gchat ending, Google still has more than enough messaging services including Allo, Duo, Android Messages and Voice.
Gchat goes way back to a simpler time AIM used to be a way of communicating. It’s time to move on, but it’s also sad seeing Gchat bite the dust. It was a great 12-year run. We’ll pour one out for Gchat and remember it fondly.
The changes will take effect June 26. Support for the Google Talk Android app and any other third party app designed for Talk will stop functioning.