Google is making changes to Hangouts by splitting the service in two: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat.
Hangouts Meet is a video meeting experience, which includes video conferencing for remote meetings.
“We’ve consistently heard from customers about ways we can improve Hangouts, like making it easier to work with external clients or reducing the ‘time to start’ a meeting to zero,” said Scott Johnston, director of product management for Hangouts. “That’s why we’ve built Hangouts Meet to have a light, fast interface and smart participant management.”
Meanwhile, Chats is now similar to Slack—”an intelligent communication app for teams that takes direct messaging in Hangouts and evolves it to reflect the way modern teams talk business,” according to Google.
Chat’s deep integration with G Suite enables users to view Drive content directly in conversations. There’s also filtered search to access past content and conversations.
“Chat is built not only to reflect the way teams work, but to provide a platform for the enterprise tools they work with,” says Johnston. “The Hangouts Chat platform supports a wide range of capabilities—from bots to simple scripting using Google App Script—and integrates with third-party applications so teams can do more right from within the conversation.”
Meet is available today, rolling out to all customers this month. Chat is currently in an early adopter program.