Google Unveils Hangouts Meet, Hangouts Chat for Businesses

Google's new business communication tools will allow users to participate in videoconferences and text chats

Google revealed two new communication tools for businesses: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat. Hangouts Meet allows users to participate in video meetings with their colleagues, while Hangouts Chat is a text-messaging platform similar to Slack.

With Hangouts Meet, users can create and share links to videoconferences, which other users can join without creating accounts or installing plugins. Users can also join meetings from Google Calendar events or email invites. For G Suite Enterprise users, each meeting has a dedicated dial-in phone number.

Meanwhile, Hangouts Chat allows users to create separate chat rooms for each project, which have threaded conversations. The platform includes G Suite integration, so content shared from Google Drive and Google Docs can be viewed within conversations. Users can also search within chat rooms to find content from any point in time.

Elsewhere, Hangouts Chat also supports bots. For instance, the @meet bot will automatically schedule meetings for teams with Hangouts Meet and Google Calendar.

In a blog post, Scott Johnston, director of product management for Hangouts, said Google is working with Asana, Box, Prosperworks and Zendesk to expand the Chat platform.

Hangouts Meet is now available on desktop, iOS and Android, and Johnston said it will roll out to all G Suite customers “over the next few weeks.” Meanwhile, interested G Suite customers can apply to try Hangouts Chat through Google’s Early Adopter Program.