Google and AOL have taken their instant messaging partnership to a new height with almost complete interoperability among AIM, Gmail and Google Talk. Now Google's users can invite their AIM buddies to chat just by entering their AOL screen names, even if they don’t have or use an AIM account themself. This has been implemented in all of the platforms of Google Chatting - Gmail, iGoogle, Orkut and Google Talk.
Gmail users have been able to access their AIM account through Google Talk since 2007, but AIM account users couldn’t message Google Talk account users and vice versa. But, now there is a full interoperability.
While chatting with AIM buddies in Gmail, a few noticeable changes will be :
- No longer need of an AIM account to connect to the friends using AIM rather one can add AIM buddies just like Gmail contacts to the chat list- using their AOL screennames (for example, email@example.com).
- One will no longer be able to sign into AIM account from within Gmail chat since he/she can now add AIM contacts directly.
- If a user previously had a lot of AIM contacts and don’t want to re-add them to chat list one by one, AOL has created a tool to import all AIM buddies into Gmail account.
AOL and Google have tens of millions of instant messenging users each. Combining their user bases and making them interoperable will surely make both chat platforms far more useful.
Source : Official Gmail Blog