It’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of Google’s ambitions in chat and communication arena with new launches every quarter. After the launch of Allo and Duo, the search giant has decided to split its another communication app, Hangouts, into two halves – Hangouts Meet for video chat and Hangouts Chat for regular communication.
Just a week ago, we reported how Google is re-positioning the Hangouts app for enterprise users with the launch of Meet service. And with today’s announcement, it’s pretty much certain that Google wants to make a big push in the business arena.
The new Hangouts Chat app is more or less like Slack or Microsoft Teams app. Hangouts Chat is a bit different from the previous Hangouts version and offers multiple virtual rooms for each topic, threaded conversations, integration with other G Suite services, and a filterable search.
Just like Slack, the new Chat variant will support integrations with other services and bots. And the first bot at your disposal is none other than @meet, a natural language processing AI bot for automatically scheduling meetings.
Next one is Hangout Meet, a video-conferencing platform aimed at easing holding and scheduling meetings online. It’s pretty simple and intuitive. All you need to do is start the meeting and share the meet code with other users to join in. One can also schedule meetings to be held later. Users can join from the web interface or an app or even with a dedicated dial-in phone number if you are a G Suite Enterprise customer. The service supports a max of 30 concurrent users in a meeting.
Both the apps are drastically different from the original Hangouts version and seem to offer better-streamlined experience. It will be interesting to see what Google decides about the future of the basic Hangouts app. Right now, the particular service is used far more than the newly releases Allo and Duo apps.
Google is rolling out the Hangout Meet to G Suite customers today, with the Hangout Chat available only through Early Adopter Program.