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In Loving Memory: Looking back at the ups and downs of Gchat

The Department of Labor is suing Google to obtain payroll data to determine whether the company is complying with equal opportunity laws.

The Google messaging platform, Gchat, is being laid to rest on Monday.

The Google messaging platform, Gchat, is being laid to rest on Monday.

As reported by Slate, it was a way to for an entire generation to instant message at work before the days of Slack. Gchat enabled colleagues to chat online in an offline short of way, where you could write what was on your mind with abandon.

But what happened to Gchat? It seemed to have all the elements of a great social media platform, enabling media transfers, group chats and searchable features. But it seems the app was never fully supported by Google. Even the title of Gchat was unofficial. Its 2005 release was referred to as Google Talk, in 2006, the Gmail integration was know as Google Chat or Chat. And there have been various reinventions of Gchat since. At least, that was the hope with Google+ Hangouts.

With social media growing at lightning speed, why couldn’t Gchat latch on to the movement? If you were a Gchat devotee in its early days, what were its highlights? What will you miss most?

Guest host Libby Denkmann in for Larry Mantle


Josh Constine, editor-at-large for TechCrunch; he’s been following the story; he tweets

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