Google Talk

What Does Google Talk Mean?

Google Talk is Google’s free chat and instant messaging application available on multiple platforms, including Android, Mac OS 10.5 or later, Linux, Windows (Server 2003, XP, and later) and Google Chrome OS. Google Talk also provides support for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or PC-to-PC calls. Mobile platforms, such as Android and BlackBerry, include Google Talk on most compatible devices.


Google Talk is also known as Gtalk.

Techopedia Explains Google Talk

Launched in August 2005, Google Talk is now used worldwide, primarily because of its easy integration with Google’s Gmail platform, facilitating Gmail storage for Google Talk chats and messages.

Google Talk uses the open Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), which facilitates live messaging and events, including voice mail and offline messaging.

Google Talk’s innovative and cross-platform application features are as follows:

  • May be launched inside a browser, eliminating downloading and installation requirements. Google Talk’s browser version (available with Gmail and Google+) is a hassle-free and convenient option, but it does not include all stand-alone version features.
  • Provides basic file transfer capability on the stand-alone client version only. Files cannot be transferred to in-browser version users.
  • Chat – Users may send on or offline instant messages (IM) and Gtalk invitations to Gmail users and contacts. As of October 2011, the video chat facility is available when used from within Gmail. However, this feature is not included in the downloaded client version.
  • Includes Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) capabilities, such as audio conferencing and file transfer.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.