It seems that Google is seriously eyeing a bigger slice of the workplace communications market. Recently, the company announced that Hangouts Chat is now rolling out to the general public which puts it on a collision course with rival Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Hangouts Chat was first announced in March of 2017 and was previously available as part of an Early Adopter Program. However, the feature is now making its way to all users over the course of seven days starting yesterday.
— XDA Developers (@xdadevelopers) March 1, 2018
Google is positioning Hangouts Chat as the perfect tool to handle the communication needs of companies especially those that require team members from different parts of the globe to collaborate. The feature, which can be accessed by all G Suite users, supports 28 languages while each room can even accommodate up to 8,000 members.
Chat also allows plenty of customization options so that companies can tweak the tool to suit their specific needs. For instance, developers may build bots or integrate their services into the feature. The feature is also compatible with Google’s existing ecosystem of partners making it easier for the tool to be integrated with other workplace collaboration apps such as Xero, RingCentral, UberConference, Salesforce, Zenefits, Zoom.ai, Jira, Trello, Wrike, and Kayak.
Of course, Hangouts Chat is very compatible with Google’s own suite of products and workplace tools. From Chat, users can easily start Hangouts Meet video conferences as well as document and file sharing.
The rise of online jobs, as well as teams of workers opting to work remotely, has spawned a new segment of services catering to the collaborative and communication needs of modern day businesses. As a newcomer, Hangouts Chat needs to put more effort to catch up with more established players in the market. At the moment, Microsoft Teams has a 37 percent share of the global market collaboration software while rival Slack has 5 percent share.