Google Turns Hangouts Into Slack Competitor
Revamped Hangout apps will be part of Google’s big push into business technology; Set to take on competitors in business chat and video conferencing.
Google has launched what looks like its own Slack “killer” – an all new Hangouts Chat app as part of its G-Suite enterprise workplace tools. Google has split the Hangouts app into two parts — Hangouts Meet for video conferencing, and Hangouts Chat. Like Microsoft, which is ready to launch its own Slack competitor “Teams” on March 14th, Google is hoping that integration with the rest of their business apps products will make it more attractive to enterprises than Slack or other business communication tools.
After multiple failed attempts to make Hangouts a success, Google may have finally hit upon the right positioning for Hangouts – as a business tool that evokes instant comparisons with Slack. Focusing on business chat looks like a better play given the success of Slack, and because Hangouts is now a firmly part of Google big push into business technology, they can focus solely on corporate users.
Based on the demo shared by Google at its Cloud Next event, the new apps are slick looking, with a rich set of messaging and collaboration features. G Suite customers can access Hangouts Meet right now while Hangouts Chat is in trial mode and will be available to the general public at an undisclosed date.
Like Slack, you get team chat rooms with threaded conversations, in-built document sharing (integrated via G-Suite) and search functionality. The new Hangouts Chat platform also supports bots and third-party apps, including @meet, a bot which uses natural language processing and machine learning to automate scheduling of meetings in Google Calendar.
Hangouts Meet is Google’s attempt to disrupt business video conferencing by simplifying. Google claims to have streamlined the interface to make it lighter, faster and smoother and say that Meet can have over 30 people join a meeting by simply clicking a shared link or dialing in or using the mobile app can. Meet also supports full-screen presentations and integration with Google Suite, allowing enterprise users to easily pull up files for presenting in Meet.