Published: Sun, March 12, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jose Becker

Google Hangouts gets a major overhaul to make it more enterprise friendly

Google Hangouts gets a major overhaul to make it more enterprise friendly

It will be closely integrated with other component of G Suite, making it easy for business users to get the best videoconferencing, chat and messaging tools as part of their monthly subscription.

Google is placing an enterprise emphasis on Hangouts, its embattled video chat product, and has divided the product into two main features: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat, according to a company blog post.

Hangouts always existed in a odd purgatory where Google couldn't decide if it should be primarily a messaging app or primarily a video app, and so it did both, and it didn't do either of them particularly well.

The new Meet app lets up to 30 people join a video conference, compared with a Hangouts cap of 10 participants. Dedicated, virtual rooms create a home for each project, with threaded conversations. If your browser supports webRTC, there are no plug-ins required, and every meeting has a dial-in code now to allow even people on phones to join in.

If you use a G suite enabled account, it says there that you get to know the full potential of the app. What used to be a place for messages and voice and video calls will now be for Hangouts, which is a Skype-like video and audio communication service.

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On the second day of its ongoing Cloud Next event here, Google announced several upgrades to its existing apps to make them more relevant for enterprises. Whether or not this will finally be the messaging strategy that works for Google, or if we'll be writing about Chat and Meet in the past tense next year is something we'll have to wait to find out.

According to, Google now has nine different messaging apps such as Google Messenger, Google Chat, Google Voice, Allo, Duo, and the Spaces group-sharing app. We're not saying Google copied anyone's homework, but it's fair to say Hangouts Chat was at least inspired by Slack.

That's because Hangouts is turning into a group chat system that looks a hell of a lot like Slack.

How does Hangouts Meet work? Google also designed Chat to integrate with a wide set of enterprise tools and is working with companies like Asana, Box and Zendeskto. Like Microsoft, Google is launching a Slackalike - and like Microsoft, it's betting that deep integration with the rest of its office suite is going to be catnip for IT managers and cost-conscious CFOs.

Hangouts Meet by Google is a video conferencing service that aims to reduce the issues that are generally faced by groups while organising a video meeting. Inside, users can share content from the likes of Google Docs and Google Drive, as well as view pictures and videos. Additionally, Hangouts Chat evolves the Hangouts experience in a way that can scale to enterprise-sized organizations.

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