Google Talk Swings Back

There’s lots of instant messaging news today. Google isn’t letting the fact that it has less than 1% market share and only 44,000 people used its Google Talk client last month get it down. Tonight they’ve released three significant new features to the product – file transfers, voicemail and music status. Information on all of these features is here.

File Transfers

Files and folders can be sent to Google Talk friends by clicking the “send file” button. There are no limits on file sizes or type, and the recipient will see a preview of the image within the chat session. Both users must be using the actual Google Talk client, however, for this feature to work. See left image below.


Voicemails can now be left for friends who do not answer calls through Google Talk. Unlike File Transfers above, this feature does not require that the friend use the Google Talk client. In that case, they’ll receive an email with the message attached as an audio file. Voicemails can be up to 10 minutes long, and messages can be left for people online without calling them directly by clicking the down arrrow from any profile card or chat window. Voicemail will also automatically kick in after 4 rings. See middle image below.

Music Status

If you are listening to music while logged in to Google Talk, you can show your contacts what you are listening to by selecting “show current music track” from your status drop down menu. This is only for “supported music players” but they do not say what players are supported. See far right image below.

Note that the Google Chat client is, ridiculously, available only for Windows machines.