How Do You “Talk” Online?


How Do You “Talk” Online?

I have to admit – I’m a Gchat junkie. Gchat, the nickname for Google’s popular Google Talk platform, is used relatively widely. So when the company updated to Google+ Hangouts many people either refused to make the change or didn’t realize that they were able to update (and some would say upgrade) to Hangouts.

Gchat and Hangouts are just the most recent incarnation of chat applications that are offered. There’s AOL Instant Messenger, which is one of the very first chat clients; Microsoft, who offers a chat through its Hotmail client; Jabber, which many big companies use as an internal chat option; and of course, Facebook chat, which continues to grow in popularity. With so many people using the Internet as a primary communication tool, it’s no wonder that there are a plethora of chat options to choose from.

Let’s explore some chat options:

Google+ Hangouts (formerly known as Gchat or Google Talk)

I have to admit that after reading this article I made the switch from Gchat to Hangouts. Google+ Hangouts now offers you the option to share photos and emoticons through the chat client. It now also offers an app for Hangouts, while before you had to resort to aftermarket apps to get mobile access to the Google chat client.

Facebook Chat

While the ability to chat within Facebook still has a bit of a rudimentary look, it’s very popular with Facebook users. Personally, I don’t like that it treats chat messages like actual private messages. You can also get caught up in a chat/message chain that seems to go on forever. But having the ability to talk with people that you normally communicate with through status updates is nice. You can keep some conversations off of your Facebook page and not in the so-called public record.

Windows Live Messenger

I think that Windows messenger looks like a hybrid of Google Talk and what AIM used to look like. It has many of the same capabilities. If you have contacts who primarily use Hotmail or Outlook, choosing to use Windows messenger regularly may be a good thing for you.


Many companies use this free chat client to connect people within their office and improve their business communication. It’s a pretty basic chat but it does have many, many emoticons to choose from, which is fun.

So how do you talk online? I’m curious to hear which of the chat clients that I’ve listed is the most popular. Any pros and cons for each on that I didn’t list?

(Photo Source)

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.