The multinational technology company made good on its commitment to building communication tools apt for how teams work today by introducing Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat in a blog post written by Scott Johnston, director of product management at Google, on March 9th.
Hangouts Meet is built to have a light, fast interface, which allows up to 30 participants to hold a video conference as smoothly as possible. Starting a meeting simply requires sharing a link sans accounts, plugins, or downloads. In addition, necessary information about each meeting is automatically pulled from Calendar with Meet deeply integrated with G Suite.
Hangouts Chat boasts of other benefits derived from the G Suite integration including shared content from Drive and Docs. Organizing all this information has been made easy as well with threaded conversations, as well as filterable search especially useful when users have to look for content that dates way back to the start of the project. Plus, photos and videos can be viewed directly in chats.
Meet is available today and will be gradually rolled out to all G Suite customers over the next few weeks while Chat is available through the Early Adopter Program.
Google’s battle with messaging and the reason behind splitting Hangouts
While the decision to reposition Hangouts to enterprise appears to be a step towards the right path, Google has been known to struggle in messaging for years. To date, the tech giant offers around nine different messaging apps including Google Messenger, Google Chat, Google Voice, and its consumer-focused Allo and Duo, among others.
Raul Castanon-Martinez, senior analyst at 451 Research, however, points out the benefit of having two distinct apps by saying that, “[it] is well-aligned with how individuals and teams communicate within organizations.”
And that is exactly how Hangouts has evolved— it was born out of research and ideation to address the need of customers to collaborate through video and chat as seamlessly as possible. Johnston made it pretty clear in the same blog post how each and every feature in both Meet and Chat was an answer to common dilemmas faced by customers when working with clients and other teams such as accessing and sharing information and workflow issues.
Although Google took its time to fully dive into the enterprise, the tech giant is catching pretty fast and its Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat are a good manifestation of how the multinational technology company acknowledges how modern, cross-functional teams work today.