Hangouts—Google’s G Suite communications solution—is being divided in two: a live calling app and a team messaging app.
First, there’s Hangouts Meet. It’s an app that focuses on video and audio communications, much like Google Duo does at the consumer level. Hangouts Meet promises to streamline the process of getting into virtual meetings for voice and video chat.
If the meeting is properly configured, the hope is that Meet will require a single click to get users to join a meeting, with faster load times too.
It looks like there’ll be integration of organisation tasks too, like agenda composition and minutes distribution. Other new features include live recording of proceedings and upping the maximum participants to 30.
Google calls Hangouts Chat an “intelligent communication app”. It’s all about modern teams, rooms and—of course—chat.
Effectively threaded conversations are expected to set Google Chat apart from many competing corporate messaging solutions. It also promises file sharing that can be done on an individual level or with an entire room.
The project management potential of Chat will be bolstered by the integration of third party apps, including Asana, Box, Xero and Zendesk.
Currently, Hangout Chat is only available to users in Google’s early access program. Once wrinkles are ironed out, Google will let more people wear it.
Hangouts is not yet being discontinued, but these more specialised enterprise communications apps are a strategic shift. That new strategy is unlikley to sustain the more general Hangouts app in the long term.
As the offshoots become more refined and provide better service their respective markets, Hangouts as we’ve known it to now will fade away.
Copy Transmission is a Melbourne-based agency :: Better Brands. Loud & Clear.