Friday, June 13, 2008

GTalk - Yahoo! Messenger Interoperability

The big news from Google this morning was the agreement to provide Yahoo! with access to Google's AdSense for search and AdSense for content in US and Canada. The Google press release and the Google blog post on this topic had another interesting tid-bit:
In addition, we will work to enable interoperability between our respective instant messaging services allowing users better, broader communication online.

And with interoperability between IM services, users will have easier access to even more of their contacts.

I hope they implement this interoperability soon. The previously announced interoperability with AOL and Skype messaging platforms has not materialized yet. The facility for GMail users with AOL accounts to login with their AOL IDs and chat with their AOL contacts from within GMail does not count as interoperability.

I wonder why IM platforms were not designed in the first place to function like email platforms: with the ability to message contacts on any other network. Now that IM platforms started out as walled gardens, what is taking the big IM platforms so long to implement interoperability with all other IM platforms, or at least with the major ones. Are they afraid that this will make their competitors stronger? Don't the big IM platforms realize that giving their users the ability to chat with friends on other networks is the best way to keep them on their own networks?

If I could use Yahoo Messenger to chat with my friends who are on GTalk, I might never use the GTalk client because I find the YM client to be more full-featured. Think about it Yahoo and get working on interoperability with GTalk ASAP! And while you are at it, don't forget to include voice chat in the interoperability mix.

PS: I'm not going to ask GTalk for anything here because my wishlist for GTalk would form a complete post in itself.