Google Chat launches as option in Gmail, replacing Hangouts

Google has integrated its Chat messaging app with Gmail to get far more organization shoppers to use it. But the products remains fewer subtle than collaboration apps like Slack and Microsoft Groups.

Google previously postponed ideas to force enterprises to undertake Chat in spot of the older messaging app Hangouts. The research huge to begin with scheduled that transition for October 2019 but now will not likely thrust the change until late 2020.

This month, however, Google began allowing any buyer swap out Hangouts for Chat inside of Gmail. The release marked the finish of a shut beta application in the course of which a handful of shoppers manufactured the transfer.

Google also additional to Chat some important features whose absence had been supplying shoppers pause. In addition to the Gmail tie-in, Chat now supports messaging with exterior events that also use Chat.

Chat is far more advanced than Hangouts since it supports issues like challenge channels and the capacity to ahead a concept to e mail. People can also cross-start Google Satisfy, a video conferencing resource, and Google Voice, a telephony company.

But as a collaboration resource, Chat just isn’t on par with apps like Slack and Microsoft Groups, stated Irwin Lazar, an analyst at Nemertes Investigation. The products is far more aptly called an prompt messaging app than a team collaboration app, he stated.

“I see this as really just an update above Hangouts,” Lazar stated. “It strikes me quite considerably as just an advancement to prompt messaging, which is where by the competitors had been yrs back.”

For Google, Gmail remains the focal level of their organization communications system. In contrast, rival Microsoft has prioritized its Groups app above Outlook for collaboration.

Google has also struggled with branding. Google Satisfy and Google Chat had been previously called Hangouts Satisfy and Hangouts Chat. That induced confusion since Google’s buyer messaging company has prolonged been called Hangouts.

“Google is aware that the naming convention for in particular their chat goods had been perplexing to say the the very least,” stated Wayne Kurtzman, an analyst at IDC.

Google also has an overlapping portfolio of communications apps. In addition to Satisfy and Hangouts, each of which offer video conferencing, Google provides Duo, a mobile meeting app.

The start of Chat in Gmail will come soon right after Google additional Satisfy to the e mail sidebar. Google manufactured the products absolutely free to compete with Zoom. But the app still lacks important features like digital backgrounds, breakout rooms and polls.

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