• A video hangouts stand is pictured at the new headquarters of Google France

A video hangouts stand is pictured at the new headquarters of Google France (Photo : Reuters/Jacques Brinon/Poo)

Fans of Google Talk are likely to be disappointed as Google announced its decision to discontinue the Google Talk PC application. Instead, users are being advised to start using the Hangouts app for Google's Chrome browser platform.

Google Talk has been a much-used platform for many years and was receiving scant attention from Google of late. Google issued an announcement today suggesting people migrate to Hangouts. While Google Talk was a standalone app, the Hangouts app is an extension for the Chrome browser.

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According to Firstpost, the move to force users to use the Chrome browser extension might be influenced by the launch of the web client of WhatsApp, arguably the most popular chat app in the world.

Google Hangouts is an integrated platform that brings together multiple elements like instant messaging, SMS, internet phone calls and video conferencing. It can, therefore, be found wanting if users are looking for simple functionality, or have slow internet connections where Google Talk could load and work without issues.

In the popularity race, Hangouts has been behind popular alternatives WhatsApp and WeChat for quite some time.

Google, of course, is touting the multiple features and advantages of the Hangouts platform to justify their decision, according to IBNLive. The Talk interface will only be accessible as a sidebar on Gmail accounts.

The decision will also mean the end of Google Talk support for third-party messaging solutions like Adium and Pidgin, as Hangouts lacks support for the XMPP protocol that previously allowed them to integrate Google Talk.