Years ago I’ve learned that Google offers a Instant Messaging thing. It worked with Apples iChat, Adium and a bunch of other apps that supported Jabber / XMPP protocols. Fun!
Some people used it. I’ve encourage people to use it more and drop the archaic and always broken MSN/Live Messenger. I have used it for countless hours to chat and use the webcam with my then girlfriend. It was a useful thing to have.
Then about 18 months ago Skype got my attention. The girlfriend turned out to be not so much a girlfriend. And I haven’t used GoogleTalk since. The Messenger has literally been active and unused for almost 15 months. I’ve checked the chat logs. People moved away from it apparently.
Google would decide for me that I should be friends with certain people I emailed from my Gmail account and they ended up in my friends list. A thing I disagreed with and annoyed me to no end. Removing them was no option since the first time I would receive a message from them or send them an email they would be added again. So they’re not my friends at all, they’re Googles friends then. And I’m not allowed to make up my own mind about who I want to talk to.
And so with that annoyance, the lack of people using it it has been dormant for well over a year. Useless.
Last month I took the step of no longer starting the Messenger app. This freed up some space in my OS X Dock. And other than that nothing changed in my life, workflow or anything because of it. Odd, really. Since in itself it’s a useful service. And with so many people using Gmail and a bunch even dared to try Google+ you’d think a chat feature would see wider adoption and use.