Anyone here using Google hangouts? Probably not. Hangouts is Google’s messaging app that has been around for years but is just not attractive to many users. Most people who use it are techies and this means that the app has had problems breaking into the mainstream market.
Google knows this and the company has been trying to do all it can to keep Hangouts relevant. The most recent update from Google is the splitting Hangouts into two services called Meet and Chat. These two services are mainly targeting business users and will offer group messaging and video conferencing for businesses.
Since Meet and Chat are meant for businesses, they will compete with services offered by Microsoft and Slack. Microsoft has been pushing its enterprise services aggressively the last couple of years and it sort of has the experience in this sector. It will be interesting to see if Google will be able to disrupt that.
Introducing Hangouts Meet
Starting with Hangouts Meet, it is a video conferencing service that will let business colleagues have video calls no matter where they are. These will be full screen video calls and will accommodate as many as 30 people in one call. Google is calling these video calls Meetings. An individual can start a meeting with a shared link and those on the other end will not be required to download or create accounts to be part of it. These meetings can be accessed via the Android and iOS apps as well as through the hangouts website.
On the other hand, Hangouts Chat is a simple messaging app for businesses just like Slack. It allows you to have all your contacts in one area but still be able to send different messages to different groups of individuals depending on how you have labelled them. This is helpful in a business setting as you may want a certain team to see and handle certain information while another team handles totally different information.
Hangouts Chat supports bots and companies will be able to add their own bots in the future.
The Early Adopter Program for Hangouts Chat is open and those who want to be part of it can join using this link.