There are 3 categories of contacts/friends one has:
1. Whom you always want to be in your IM list
2. whom you never want to be in your IM list
3. whom you don’t mind in your IM list – people whom you will never send a ‘Add Friend’ request, but you are quite okay with talking to them..
Yesterday, a not-so-close friend (category #3) sent me a mail on my Gmail account-I too replied back and hey! We were hooked in GTalk. Normally, I wouldn’t have sent a ‘Add Friend’ request to him, but having him in my IM list was some good fun.
And that’s what makes GTalk a disruptive product. The product adds value at a different level (takes conversation forwards from where Yahoo/MSN IMs stop).
While Yahoo/AIM/MSN IMs are busy building cool smileys/working on interoperability, GTalk’s biggest advantage is the integration with Gmail. Infact, you need not download the IM client (but if you want, you can). Simply start chatting from your browser itself!
Also, GTalk automatically adds your gmail contacts in the IM list – at times its an irritating feature, but otherwise a serendipity!
What I am trying to say is that at times you don’t need BIG features to compete with the existing players – just find the gaps/holes these big players have left and fill that!
GTalk seems to do it really well.