Google looking forward to challenge Slack with new Hangouts Chat app

Google's messaging app Hangouts Chat comes out of beta.                  Google

Internet giant Google has launched an enterprise messaging service, Hangouts Chat, as it seeks to take on similar offerings by Slack, Microsoft, Facebook, Alibaba and Indian app Flock. There are built-in compliance features to meet data retention, eDiscovery and regulatory demands for large businesses, thanks to Google Vault. Hangouts Chat comes with normal and threaded conversation.

Hangouts Chat functions much like other group chat tools such as Slack, which aim to reduce reliance on email and make it easier to communicate and share information with colleagues. It is also possible to jump quickly from Chat into a Hangouts Meet video call. In addition, the Gmail add-on will allow you to display creation, modification, and last-accessed dates for linked files, while the Hangouts integration will add previews for linked files directly to your chats. "Continuing to integrate with the greater G Suite ecosystem will ensure a more seamless experience for our users". Teams also allow users to link third-party services such as Twitter and GitHub and get notification and updates from them. Whereas the original vision for Hangouts was more on group video chat, which eventually became instant messaging and, briefly, SMS, Hangout Chat is all about direct one-on-one and group conversations.

The new integrations will also see Dropbox develop additional native native G Suite integrations with G Suite communications tools: Gmail and Hangouts Chat, which are aimed at collaboration between teams, allowing them to keep project content connected to the conversations around it.

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Google will be rolling-out Hangouts Chat for the G-Suite customers over the next week. For example the Google Drive bot will tell you when someone shares a file with you or when someone comments on a document.

Google is betting on AI to differentiate Hangouts Chat from the competition. "We want to move toward helping people move faster at work", Scott Johnston, director of product management at Google, said in an interview.

Rival Slack is already popular among businesses and has signed 50,000 paying teams as more and more professionals search for alternatives to emails for long distance communications. The service is an integral part of Office 365 and it is available in 181 countries and in 18 languages to commercial customers with Office 365 Enterprise or Business plans.

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