Google Talk and Jabber

Ok, so that subject line is a little redundant; Google Talk is Jabber, but last month they finally enabled server-to-server communication so Google Talk users can now talk to anyone on the Jabber network. Previously Google Talk was a closed service, one you could only use to talk to other Gtalk users. After much complaining by Jabber users, they’ve finally allowed their network to talk to the rest of us.

This means that anyone with a Gmail account (pretty much everyone, these days, I think) now has a Jabber account as well and can use either the Google Talk software or a Jabber client of their choosing to talk to the rest of us. OS X users have a head start here because, as of 10.4, iChat supports Jabber as well as AIM. You can even use it on the two networks simultaneously. I believe some third-party Jabber clients, for Windows or Linux as well as OS X, can do this as well.

If you don’t want your communications dependent on a single corporation, there’s now one less barrier to moving away from AIM. You also get the benefits of secure, encrypted conversations via SSL, offline messaging (like you used to be able to do with ICQ), and the ability to choose which provider to get your Jabber service from. Gmail users can use Google, but there are other free Jabber servers available that you can use any client with.

Anyone with a Dreamhost account can set up Jabber service for their own domain as well. I have Jabber accounts available as if anyone needs one. My account is, of course,


Kevin says:

Yeah, any gaim based client can will log you on to multiple networks simultaneously. That includes Adium for OS X (way better than iChat). I’m always on both AIM and Y!M.