Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Hangouts Chat is now available after months of beta testing with companies enrolled in its Early Adopter Program.
Google Hangouts Chat is out of Beta
A year after Google overhauled Hangouts, the Slack-like chat capabilities of this app are going to allow teams to come together along with the G Suite of services. And because it will be available at no cost for G Suite subscribers, the close integration of the apps within the suite might be enough to persuade business to opt for Hangouts Chat.
For many small businesses who want fully integrated and affordable solutions, G Suite with Hangouts Chats is a great option. Under this Google ecosystem, you can now work together with teams and chat, video conference, share documents, access cloud storage and more.
Scott Johnston, Director of Product Management for Google, wrote on Google’s official “The Keyword” blog, “From direct messages to group conversations, Chat helps teams collaborate easily and efficiently. With dedicated, virtual rooms to house projects over time — plus threaded conversations — Chat makes it simple to track progress and follow up tasks in one place.”
In this one place, as Johnston said, you can now work with other G-Suite apps, including Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides while being able to join online meetings with Hangouts Meet. With these tools, you can start collaborating using Hangouts Chats in rooms supporting up to 8,000 members and 28 languages.
Whether you are on your Windows or Mac OS desktop or Android or iOS device, you can collaborate from anywhere. Google also brings its artificial intelligence technology to speed up manual workflows to book conferencing rooms and quickly find files by predicting what you might need.
Third party integration is also a big part of this app. To date, there are a total of 25 bots interfacing with other G Suite apps, including solutions from Salesforce, Trello, FreshDesk, Xero, RingCentral, Vonage and others. To encourage more integrations, Google is giving developers access to resources for adding their software into Hangouts Chat.
Competing With Slack
Google announced the overhaul of Hangouts in March of 2017 in its bid to tackle the dominance of Slack in this segment. Google is not the only one going after Slack. More companies are revamping their chatting capabilities as the number of remote workers continues to grow.
What Google has going for it is G Suite customers who have nothing to lose in trying Hangouts Chats because it is free. If it delivers on everything it promises, businesses will start experiencing the financial and logistical benefits of switching over.