Ever since Google pulled the plug on GChat and replaced it with Google Hangouts, the messaging app has been on an identity crisis roller coasters. You can never tell if Google intended it to be the go-to app for Google Plus, Google Voice, business video chat, or an SMS app.
Then Google seems to be sending this mixed signals like Hangouts is to be phased out if favor of these multiple and often self-duplicating messaging apps it released recently. There is the Google Allo, Google Messenger now called Android Messenger, and Google Duo. One would wonder why all these features couldn’t be baked into one app. Then again, Google Hangouts has virtually all the features all these apps have in a single app.
But now it all seems to be making sense, Google is fronting Hangouts as a business app for corporate clients and will complement its other consumer apps. Allo, Android Messenger, and Duo server consumer apps. The new Google Hangouts is still in early demo stage, but the features revealed are enough to you stop making fun of it.
The new Hangouts’ new group chat system looks more like Slack. Google is also hoping to have the upper hand over Slack given Hangouts integrates deeper with the rest of Google Office suite. Something cost conscious CFOs and IT managers will consider strongly in favor of Hangouts when considering Google Hangouts versus Slack.
The strongest selling point Google is putting out to businesses is that Hangouts Chat is deeply integrated into Google Docs and Sheets. The app can even assign documents permissions automatically depending on the team creating it. Google has also baked in a search feature into the app. enabling you to filter out messages depending on rooms, people, types of files, and even links sent in the room.