Friday, January 12, 2007

Google Talk + AIM = When?

I've seen a number of comments on the web regarding the previously announced interoperability plans between AIM and Google Talk, especially as the one-year anniversary of the announcement came up at the end of December. Nothing yet has made it into the hands of users, leading some to wonder whether it is actually going to happen. Having followed this effort closely both at AOL and now at Google, it's very interesting to read the various opinions from the outside.

On the Google side, I can simply refer to our official statement, and our stock answer, "We are working actively on integrating AIM access in Google Talk."

And as for a version of AIM that talks to Google users? There has been no comment whatsoever from AOL regarding such a client, so I guess we'll have to wait and see how important this is to AOL's new management team.

However, AOL also appears to be working on an XMPP gateway for AIM, which would allow XMPP/Jabber clients to access the AIM network using AIM screen names. Based on the public information, it seems that this should be available in the near future.

One way
or another, looks like many believe 2007 is shaping up to be an exciting year.


Chris Harrison said...

If gTalk added interoperability with AIM, I could convince more people to start using it. I love Google Talk and I can't wait until this feature comes to fruition.

Anonymous said...

So the Gateway AOL works on requires an AOL Screenname on the XMPP side? That sounds poor to me. This is exactly what PyAIMt already does. I thought with an official AOL Gateway it would be possible to just use the "native" JID. Technically i don't see why it shouldn't work that way.

Anonymous said...


PyAIMt is a transport. From the sound of it, a Gateway would allow "native" interaction with AIM and is thus different from a transport.

If all it took was a transport, there would've been interoperability long ago since all that Google has to do is to set up a transport and do everything on the Google-side without any help from AOL. A gateway would require AOL's cooperation and would be a much better solution.

kofai said...


Anonymous said...

neat, can't wait. any chance it'll ever interop with msn messenger?

Anonymous said...


Justin writes: "AOL also appears to be working on an XMPP gateway for AIM, which would allow XMPP/Jabber clients to access the AIM network using AIM screen names"

That's what i was referring to. He clearly sais on the XMPP side there needs to be an AIM screen name. So the user experience is identical to PyAIMt, no matter if it works technically different.
I hope this is not how the Google Talk/ AIM interoperability works.

Anonymous said...

Justin, AIM already interoperates with accounts, which are XMPP, no? Why isn't interoperability with Google as simple as adding and to the list of domains it can interoperate with?

Anonymous said...

.mac does not use XMPP. Not yet at least. Apple uses AOL's OSCAR protocol, so this is no interoperability in the actual meaning. i think Apple doesn't even have it's own servers for instant messaging, it is more like you have an AIM Screenname ending with

Jeremy, Susan, and Layla said...

A native XMPP gateway atop of the AIM servers is definitely the way to go. I've managed AIM PyAIMt transports...they are very buggy and do not scale well (client socket and state management on server).

marevalo said...

Anything less than a public, native-XMPP server on AOL, alowing Jabber users talking with AOL users (f.e. as, and the other way roung, would be a great dissapointment.

The moment Google adds AIM protocol support to the GTalk CLIENT (or an GTalk-only gateway) I will stop using it an tell my friends to move to another XMPP public server.

Please, let's keep on making XMPP the SMTP of Instant Messaging.

Meena Ballerina said...

I concur and it's been over 2 years since you wrote this.