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Google Talk Gets Avatars, Themes

While Google Talk remains a slimmed down communications client compared the likes of AIM Triton and MSN Messenger, the search giant has added a few new consumer-oriented features to its latest update released late Thursday. Google Talk now supports buddy icons, also known as avatars, and nine different themes for chat windows.

Users can choose a buddy icon from a gallery or upload their own 32×32-pixel image. The custom Appearance option is slightly different from AIM Expressions, as it does not change the way friends or colleagues see the chat window on their computer. Google also recently added support for the BlackBerry through a special downloadable version of Google Talk designed for the handheld device.

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