Back in August of 2005 Google launched its instant messaging platform called Google Talk. One feature that Google did not provide was a way for Google Talk users to connect with other Google Talk users who they didn’t already know. Within a week of the Google Talk launch Jason and I had rolled out the first version of GTalk Profile, a website with the purpose of helping Google Talk users connect with other Google Talk users from around the world. Users can search by location and interests and their contact information is kept private unless they choose to share it with another user. Today the 10,000 profiles mark was hit!
Unfortunately Jason and I have been too busy to maintain GTalk Profile the way we would like. We plan to streamline the core experience and there are many new features we’d like to add. The 10,000 profiles mark, while not representative of a huge number of users, is a significant milestone because it shows a real interest in what GTalk Profile has to offer. Our goal is to dedicate more resources to the website and treat it like any other project that a client may come to us with.
One of the great things about Google Talk is that it’s built on the open Jabber/XMPP standards (GTalk Profile is actually a website for any Jabber/XMPP user, not just Google Talk users). This means that other organizations using these standards can choose to federate with Google Talk (and amongst themselves). Imagine if you could only send email to people using the same email provider as yourself. This is the current state of instant messaging and the Jabber/XMPP standards, with Google’s help, are slowly opening the world of instant messaging. Now if only some of the other major instant messaging players like AOL Instant Messenger, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger were to start using these standards and federating with others like good citizens of the Internet.