It’s almost a year since Google first mentioned Hangouts Chat – a completely redesigned messaging service that looks more like Slack than the Hangouts most consumers know today.
From now on Hangouts Chat is no longer in its ‘early adopter’ program and will be available to all G Suite users next week, assuming their company will of course turn it on.
For the sake of clarity, Hangouts Chat is a completely separate and separate service from Hangouts itself, which still lives in your Google email inbox. And while we’re forgiven for extending your eyes to another chat service from Google (the number of different apps that the company has built is legendary at this point), Hangouts Chat offers something potentially valuable to companies using G Suite – assuming they are not already on Slack.
Just like Slack, Hangouts Chat offers virtual spaces for different parts of a company’s team or to organize people around a specific project or task. Each room can accommodate up to 8,000 people and Chat works with 28 different languages in total. Of course it has direct messages and discussions with threads and also apps for iOS, Android, macOS and Windows; there is also a web interface.
Slack has the advantage over Hangouts that, that it has a very large customer base and awareness. The other advantage Slack has, are apps. Slack has thousands of integrations which makes automating things and getting updates very easy.