Google Chat
Google Chat icon (2020).svg
Screenshot
Google Chat screenshot.png
Screenshot of the interface of the Google Chat website
Developer(s)Google
Initial releaseMarch 9, 2017; 5 years ago (2017-03-09)
PlatformAndroid, iOS, Web
TypeCommunication software
LicenseFreeware
Websitechat.google.com

Google Chat is a communication service developed by Google. Initially designed for teams and business environments, it has since been made available for general consumers. It provides direct message, group conversations, and spaces, which allow users to create and assign tasks and share files in a central place in addition to chatting. It can be accessed through its own website and app or through the Gmail website and app.

It was first launched on March 9, 2017, as Hangouts Chat as one of the two apps that constitute the replacement for Google Hangouts, the other being Google Meet. It was renamed to Google Chat on April 9, 2020. It was initially only available for Google Workspace customers, but in February 2021, Google began rolling out Google Chat in "early access" to regular consumer accounts until it became fully available in April 2021. Google deprecated the original Hangouts and replaced it with Chat in early 2022.

History

Logo of Google Chat used from 2017 to October 2020
Logo of Google Chat used from 2017 to October 2020

Google Chat was first launched as Hangouts Chat on March 9, 2017, for Google Workspace (called G Suite until October 2020[1]) customers only as a replacement for Google Hangouts.[2] All G Suite packages had identical features except for a lack of Vault data retention in the Basic package.[3]

On April 9, 2020, Google rebranded Hangouts Chat to Google Chat. Following this rebranding, and along with a similar change for Hangouts Meet, the Hangouts brand is to be removed from Google Workspace.[2]

Migration from Hangouts

Google first announced their plan to begin retiring Google Hangouts in October 2019.[4] In October 2020, Google announced that it would open Google Chat up to consumers in 2021. Google also announced that Hangouts conversations, contacts, and history would be migrated over to Google Chat.[5]

Google Chat began to roll out to consumer accounts in "early access" in February 2021,[6][7] but at the time Google stated that Hangouts would remain a consumer-level product for people using standard Google accounts.[8][9][10] By April 2021, Google Chat became fully available for free as an "early access" service, for users who choose to use it instead of Hangouts.[11]

In August 2021, Google started automatically signing out Google Hangouts users on iOS and Android and notifying them to switch to Google Chat.[12]

Google plans to deprecate Google Hangouts and replace it with Google Chat in early 2022.[13] In February 2022, Google announced plans to begin the final migration of all Google Workspace customers from Google Hangouts to Google Chat, which is scheduled to be finalized in May 2022.[14]

Features

Google Chat is divided into two sections, chat and spaces. The Chat section contains direct conversations with other people and group conversations. In addition to be able to access Google Chat from its website and app, Google Chat can also be accessed through its integration with the Gmail website and app.[5]

In May 2022, Google announced that Chat would display banners warning users against potential phishing and malware attacks coming from personal accounts. This development for Google Chat was the latest attempt to prevent phishing and security breaches for users.[15]

Spaces

Not to be confused with Google Spaces.

A screenshot of a Google Chat space, shows the three tabs on the top, Chat, Files, and Tasks
A screenshot of a Google Chat space, shows the three tabs on the top, Chat, Files, and Tasks

Spaces, originally called Rooms, is a chat room feature built within Google Chat for topic-based collaboration, with shared files, tasks and conversations.[16][17] It functions alongside Google Chat and Google Meet to integrate group productivity features like message threading and real-time collaboration to organize topic-based conversations without exiting Gmail.[18] The feature revives the brand name previously used in an unrelated service of the same name from 2016 to 2017, with the rebranding occurring as part of the expansion of Google Workspace to all users in 2021.[19][20] Spaces are designed for collaboration on long-term projects. In contrast to spaces, group conversations only support chatting and do not have any task functionality or a separate files tab to view a list of shared files.[21] Spaces also allow users to change the name of the chat, which is not possible with group conversations, and they allow users to only be notified when they are mentioned.[22] Each space has three tabs, a chat tab for chatting, a files tab for sharing files, and a tasks tab for creating and assigning tasks.[22]

The service is accessible from within Gmail alongside Chat and Meet as part of the Google Workspace expansion to all Gmail users.[23] With the relaunch, Spaces allows up to 8,000 users to collaborate on projects and utilize other Workspace features such as creating Google Drive documents and Google Meet meetings from within a Space,[24][25] as well as integration with Task creation and Calendar availability.[26] By the end of 2022, the Spaces team size limit will increase to 25,000.[27] Spaces are discoverable across an organization[28] and a Space's creator is the default manager of the space with the ability to delegate manager status to another user.[29] The move from Rooms to Spaces also brought improvements in moderation and security features.[30][31] In February 2022, Google rolled out a new Gmail interface for Workspace that was designed to better integrate Spaces as well as Chat and Meet.[32][33] Spaces is expected to gain increased functionality when Google Currents is shut down sometime in 2023[34] and user content is moved to Spaces.[35]

Features

See also

References

  1. ^ "Announcing Google Workspace, everything you need to get it done, in one location". Google Cloud Blog. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  2. ^ a b Statt, Nick (April 9, 2020). "Google is rebranding Hangouts Chat as just Google Chat". The Verge.
  3. ^ "Compare G Suite products - Chat". gsuite.google.com. Retrieved 2020-04-29.
  4. ^ de Looper, Christian. "Google will begin shutting down the classic Hangouts app in November 2020". DigitalTrends.com. Archived from the original on August 4, 2019. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "The latest on Google Hangouts and the upgrade to Google Chat". Google. 2020-10-15. Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  6. ^ Bradshaw, Kyle (2021-02-10). "Google Chat readies beta preview for Hangouts users". 9to5Google. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  7. ^ Li, Abner (2021-02-24). "Google Chat 'preview' starts rolling out to some classic Hangouts users". 9to5Google. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  8. ^ Statt, Nick (2020-04-09). "Google is rebranding Hangouts Chat as just Google Chat". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  9. ^ April 2020, Mike Moore 10. "Google Hangouts officially rebrands as Google Chat". TechRadar. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  10. ^ Smith, Chris (2020-04-10). "Google's messaging apps just got more confusing: Meet and Chat". BGR. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  11. ^ "New Gmail with Google Chat tabs rolling out for free accounts, here's how to turn on". 9to5Google.com. 2021-04-04. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  12. ^ Li, Abner (2021-08-06). "Google signing free users out of Hangouts for iOS, Android as part of 'switch to Chat' prompt". 9to5Google. Retrieved 2022-01-19.
  13. ^ "Google Chat upgrade timeline - Google Workspace Admin Help". support.google.com. Retrieved 2022-01-19.
  14. ^ "Classic Hangouts will be upgraded to Google Chat beginning March 22, 2022". Google Workspace Updates. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  15. ^ "Google Chat adds warning banners to protect against phishing attacks". The Verge. 20 May 2022. Retrieved 26 May 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ Adamu, Haroun (2022-02-11). "Google Spaces will be replacing the last existing remnants of Google+". Android Police. Retrieved 2022-06-23.
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  18. ^ Clark, Mitchell (2022-01-31). "Your work Gmail is about to look different". The Verge. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  19. ^ "Google Chat 'Rooms' are now 'Spaces'". Google Workspace Updates. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  20. ^ Schroeder, Stan (2021-06-14). "Google Workspace is now free for everyone". Mashable. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  21. ^ "About spaces and group conversations - Google Chat Help". support.google.com. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  22. ^ a b "Google Chat: What's the Difference Between Spaces (Rooms) and Group Chat". Nerds Chalk. 2021-10-07. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  23. ^ "Google Chat 'Rooms' are now 'Spaces'". Google Workspace Updates. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  24. ^ "How to Create, Join and Use Google Chat Spaces". All Things How. 2021-06-01. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  25. ^ Schroeder, Stan (2021-06-14). "Google Workspace is now free for everyone". Mashable. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  26. ^ Andy Wolber (2022-03-10). "6 ways to track tasks with Google Workspace apps". TechRepublic. Retrieved 2022-06-10.
  27. ^ "Announcing new features in Google Workspace for hybrid work". Google Cloud Blog. Retrieved 2022-06-10.
  28. ^ "Use Spaces in Google Workspace - Google Workspace Learning Center". support.google.com. Retrieved 2022-06-10.
  29. ^ "Google introduces WhatsApp-like features for Spaces". ARY NEWS. 2022-03-02. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  30. ^ "What's new in Google Workspace for September 2021". FOTC. 2021-09-30. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  31. ^ "Google Workspace opens up spaces for all users". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  32. ^ Clark, Mitchell (2022-01-31). "Your work Gmail is about to look different". The Verge. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  33. ^ "Google to Roll Out Gmail's 'Integrated View' Layout on February 8". NDTV Gadgets 360. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  34. ^ "Google: We're shutting down Currents and shifting users to Spaces, because of hybrid work". ZDNet. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  35. ^ Li, Abner (2022-02-10). "Currents, previously Google+, shutting down next year in favor of Spaces in Gmail/Chat". 9to5Google. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  36. ^ Li, Abner (2021-09-08). "Google's rename of 'Rooms' in Chat and Gmail to 'Spaces' is now underway". 9to5Google. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  37. ^ Li, Abner (2021-09-08). "Google's rename of 'Rooms' in Chat and Gmail to 'Spaces' is now underway". 9to5Google. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  38. ^ Li, Abner (2021-09-08). "Google's rename of 'Rooms' in Chat and Gmail to 'Spaces' is now underway". 9to5Google. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  39. ^ "How to Create, Join and Use Google Chat Spaces". All Things How. 2021-06-01. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  40. ^ "How to Create, Join and Use Google Chat Spaces". All Things How. 2021-06-01. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  41. ^ "How to Create, Join and Use Google Chat Spaces". All Things How. 2021-06-01. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  42. ^ Joel Khalili (2021-06-14). "Google Chat is finally becoming a little more like Slack". TechRadar. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  43. ^ "How to Create, Join and Use Google Chat Spaces". All Things How. 2021-06-01. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  44. ^ "How to Create, Join and Use Google Chat Spaces". All Things How. 2021-06-01. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  45. ^ Amadeo, Ron (2021-06-14). "Google's unified Gmail interface (and Google Chat) launches for everyone". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  46. ^ "Helping businesses prepare for hybrid work with Google Workspace". Google Cloud Blog. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  47. ^ "Google Chat And Spaces New Features: An Overview". 2022-04-28. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  48. ^ "Google Workspace Announces Innovations to Bridge Hybrid Work Gaps". techrseries.com. Retrieved 2022-06-10.

Further reading