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Google Hangouts Split, Gives Slack A Run For Its Money

By Ana Cordero , Mar 10, 2017 03:20 AM EST
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The search engine giant made an announcement on Thursday that will change the face of its services. G Suite, Google's workplace tools, has just split its Hangouts app into Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat. The resulting services, which work as a video chat and a messaging feature, looks largely similar to Slack.

As Recode pointed out, Google has been putting a lot of efforts into selling its office tools to larger businesses. The project looks to be coming together in order to take on the likes of Microsoft Office and Slack. And it seems to be working, as Verizon recently switched sides from office to G Suite.

The update features will be available to G Suite customers who simply apply for access. The new application creates virtual rooms where individuals can take part of group conversations. Furthermore, they have the option to break conversations off into various threads.

Hangouts Chat includes a new AI bot that can automatically schedule meetings. When the bot is called, participants' Google Calendars are compared and contrasted. The open time that is common to the group is then picked right off the bat.

On the other hand, Hangouts Meet allows up to 30 people to join a meeting by simply clicking on a shared link or by dialing in via a phone. The service also allows users to pull out files from G Suite and present them within the app. The tools are expected to roll out within the next few weeks.

The intention of Google at this point is to veer away from the public's common notion that it is just a search engine service. As Fortune reported, Scott Johnson, Google's director of project management, made examples of current software, such as Hangouts Chat and Hangouts meet. "It feels like it is less of an uphill battle now," he said. However, the company is fighting the risk of confusion among its current users.

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