The Reuters article AOL, Google ad pact to include video, instant msgs states

America Online said Google had agreed to invest $1 billion to take a 5 percent stake in AOL, as part of an enhanced pact where Google will move beyond text-based advertising to allow AOL to sell graphical ads to Google's fast-growing ad network.

The stake effectively values AOL at $20 billion, a key benchmark should Time Warner elect to spinoff or sell a part of its Internet unit in response to dissident shareholder Carl Icahn's proxy campaign to break up the company.

Terms of the deal call for AOL to make more of its Web sites searchable via Google search, including a plans to feature AOL's premium video services within Google Video, a way of searching for Web-based video programming.

They also said they had agreed, under certain unspecified conditions, to allow users of Google's recently introduced instant messaging system Google Talk to communicate with users of AOL's market-leading AIM instant messaging service.

This is a very interesting development when combined with the recent release of the Libjingle library which allows developers to use the Google Talk API. Does this mean it'll soon be possible for any developer who grabs Libjingle off of SourceForge to be able to integrate the ability to instant message with any AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) into their applications free of charge? That is definitely game changing. I haven't looked at Libjingle [for obvious reasons] but I am interested in comments on whether my analysis is on the mark or not from people who've tried it.

I'll definitely be watching the Google Talk blog and Joe Beda's blog to keep on top of the developments in this space. Interesting stuff indeed. Perhaps I'll soon be able to integrate chatting with your AIM buddies into RSS Bandit ?


Wednesday, December 21, 2005 4:10:30 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
The important question of course is, if Google can do it then why not Microsoft? Why not Yahoo!? Why not the rest? There should be a reason why Google had taken such an open aproach both with there service but also with their client. MSN Messenger has been around for 6 years and still, no skins, no add-ins, no im service interoperability and of course no openess as to which clients can connect to the .NET Messenger Service. The right question is why not. Why not all these years. And if Google has an obvious reason for suddenly being so open with their im service, then equally there should be a valid reason for the rest of the players not to be open. Is this changing with the new Windows Live Messenger? I think not, based on what I read. Whilst the Google Talk Blog continuously talks about interoperability and the implementation of open standards, the MSN Messenger Blog only talks about end-user features. These are important doubtless but winning the mind-share of techy users should also be a priority.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005 5:23:20 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
IM is very sticky when it comes to users due to network effects. The relative market share of IM clients in the US has not changed in the past few years because everyone uses the same clients their friends use. This is so ingrained that it is now part of a rite of passage in American middle and high schools.

Google has 0% chance of even becoming the #3 IM client in the U.S. let alone #1. However if they ask everyone to open their network and thus give up the advantages of network effects and walled gardens then they can scramble to the top.

In other words, it's easy to yell about open standards when you're the under dog. You don't see similar openness from Google when it comes to revealing information about PagRank/AdWords/AdSense to the technical literati beyond some outdated papers.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005 6:35:09 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Hey Dare,

Don't hesitate to look at libjingle -- we've released it under a BSD style license. If you don't want to go with that code then there are plenty of other libraries/projects that will enable you to log onto our network. Just go to and start poking around. There are even some in C# for easy integration into RSS Bandit.

As for this openness discussion, I don't want to comment too much on a highly charged thread like this, but I personally believe that communication networks and communcation protocols are most effective when they are open. You see this with the web (HTTP/HTML vs. MSN/AOL/Prodigy/compuserve) with email (SMTP/MIME vs. all sorts of old standards) and with the old school telephone services. In the long view, I just don't think that a single company owning and controlling a communication mechanism is a stable situation.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 8:01:19 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
That may be true, Dare, but IM is a joke because it is not open like email. There has been zero innovation with IM clients.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005 8:30:55 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
There are hundreds of millions of people using IM today to communicate with friends and family around the world. The average young adult sends and receives more IM messages than the do email.

I'd also question your definition of innovation if you think there has been none in the IM world. Skype, MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger definitely have added innovative features compared to when I started using ICQ when I was in college.
Comments are closed.