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Google's Slack Competitor 'Hangouts Chat' Comes Out of Beta (techcrunch.com) 52

Frederic Lardinois reports via TechCrunch: Hangouts Chat, Google's take on modern workplace communication, is now generally available and is becoming a core part of G Suite. Hangouts Chat was first announced at Google Cloud Next 2017, together with Hangouts Meet. While Meet went right into public availability, though, Chat went into an invite-only preview. Now, Google is rolling Chat out to all G Suite users over the course of the next seven days (so if you don't see it yet, don't despair). For all intents and purposes, Hangouts Chat is Google's take on Slack, Microsoft Teams and similar projects. Since Google first announced this project, Atlassian also joined the fray with the launch of Stride. Like its competitors, Chat is available on iOS, Android and the web.

Chat currently supports 28 languages and each room can have up to 8,000 members. What's maybe just as important, though, is that Google has already built an ecosystem of partners that are integrating with Chat by offering their own bots. They include the likes of Xero, RingCentral, UberConference, Salesforce, Zenefits, Zoom.ai, Jira, Trello, Wrike and Kayak. There's even a Giphy bot. Developers can also build their own bots and integrate their own services with Chat.

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Google's Slack Competitor 'Hangouts Chat' Comes Out of Beta

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  • by BLToday ( 1777712 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @05:20PM (#56207057)

    I look forward to having this service cancel right after I start using it. So to help all Hangouts Chat users I won’t be using it.

    • by atheos ( 192468 )
      yes, we all know exactly how things work at google. I'm not even interested in checking this out, even though I know the market needs it.
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        You need a major corporate player, with a record for privacy invasiveness and stealing ideas as well as a willingness to corrupt the democratic process to feed their ego and an extremely autocratic bent to forcing their asexual peccadillos on the rest of us, to have an inside line on your companies activities. The ability to data mine all your staffs digital discussions. Seriously the company that does evil by it's own definitions, why, just why?

        Seriously modern corporation, I would not trust Google with a

    • I look forward to having this service cancel right after I start using it. So to help all Hangouts Chat users I won’t be using it.

      This is a service for enterprise customers, who pay real money for their services. Unless it's a total flop, it will stick around for a very long time. Even if it is a total flop, it will have a long sunset period for any companies that decide to use it.

  • Google coming to the table with a competitor to Slack and HipChat is like Microsoft's Mobile Phone offering. Too little, too late.
    • Yeah,
      and it is the ugliest chat program I have ever seen, and discontinued on my old iPad ... what the fuck can you make to build in a timer into your software and deactivate it? It is a damn chat software, they did the same bullshit whatsapp and line did on my iphone.

      I'm lucky so, they did not buy telegram and destroyed it.

  • That must mean they're ready to cancel it. /s
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @05:37PM (#56207143)

    Yeah, because in this age of sexual harassment/hostile workplace/he-hurt-my-fefes claims being thrown at the drop of a hat, more informal communication between employees is EXACTLY what every company and agency is looking for.

    • Alternatively it could be just like Slack that exists in millions of work places and makes it quick to talk to somebody downstairs etc.
      Also this informal communication would be logged, so one thinks people will act a little more cautiously on it.
      We use Slack all the time and it's great for telecommuting, technical group chats, and posting stupid gifs.

      Is the point of your post to blame everything on SJWs, even vague possible threats?

    • by murdocj ( 543661 )

      Huh? There's NOTHING wrong with informal communication. Just don't act like a jerk and you don't have to worry about harassment / hostile workplace issues.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday March 04, 2018 @06:05PM (#56207277)

    I’m calling it - 27 months until Google discontinues Hangouts Chat.

    Also, how many chat products does Google have now... twelve?

  • I have Google Hangouts enabled for users in my Gsuite account services. I don't see anything like Hangouts Chat? I thought Hangouts was always about chat? WTF is Hangouts Meet? Is it the same as meet.google.com?

    What the hell is going on here?

    • What the hell is going on here?

      The usual, reinventing perfectly good open technologies (such as IRC) with proprietary alternatives.

      • by nashv ( 1479253 )

        At this point, I am not exactly sure what they've invented or if they choose their names based on a random pemutation generator of "chat, hangout, talk, meet".

  • It's over.

    NO ONE cares about your 'chat' applications. In any capacity.
    You've utterly and completely screwed this up, over and over and over and over (and over!) again.

    You didn't make an Android version of 'iMessage' which is all the Android people wanted.
    You made fairly competent chat apps for the desktop (inside gmail) and promptly ruined them.

    You renamed things, you merged things, you closed things, you had 2 or 3 chat systems running at once.

    The entire messaging team should be ground up into pig feed.

    • by jbridges ( 70118 )

      I do like WhatsApp, but it does NOT have a desktop client, and does NOT have a web client.

      The pseudo desktop client actually links to your phone, so you must keep WhatsApp active on your phone to use the Desktop app.

      Same with web client, it's just an echo of the phone app.

      Also you cannot have more than one desktop/web client active at a time, frustrating.

    • by novakyu ( 636495 )

      I blame the antifeatures. Hangout would be semi-usable, if it wasn't constantly trying to get me to invite people to Hangout, instead of sending them SMS like it knew I wanted to.

  • I just attempted to sign up for this and it requires a credit card and a domain with email services running on it.

    If you do not have your own domain, with email, it offers to create one, for a fee.

    bailed, unsubscribed, flew the bird @google.

  • 1) G-suite with domain required. There's no way to subscribe to this as an add-on to existing infrastructure, which is where Slack thrives currently. 2) No ability to invite people outside your org. Again, Slack has Google beat here. You can invite (sub)contractors to your Slack instance without having to create internal credentials for them. Mind you, I hate using these chat apps for work. However, as someone that's had to manage Slack for an organization it's still the bees knees for teams that inco

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk