|Platform||Android, iOS, Web|
Google Chat (formerly known as Hangouts Chat) is a communication software developed by Google built for teams that provides direct messages and team chat rooms, similar to competitors Slack and Microsoft Teams, along with a group messaging function that allows Google Drive content sharing. It is one of two apps that constitute the replacement for Google Hangouts, the other being Google Meet. Google planned to begin retiring Google Hangouts in October 2019.
It was initially available only to Google Workspace (formerly G Suite until October 2020) customers only, with identical features in all packages except a lack of Vault data retention in the Basic package. However, in October 2020, Google announced plans to open Google Chat up to consumers as early as 2021, once Hangouts has been officially retired, and Chat began to roll out to consumer accounts in "early access" in February 2021. Hangouts will remain a consumer-level product for people using standard Google accounts. 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.
Google Chat was called Hangouts Chat before it was rebranded. Following the rebranding, and along with a similar change for Hangouts Meet, the Hangouts brand is to be removed from Google Workspace. While Google Meet introduced the above features to upgrade the original Hangouts application, some standard Hangouts features were deprecated, including viewing attendees and chat simultaneously. The number of video feeds allowed at one time was also reduced to 8 (while up to 4 feeds can be shown in a "tiles" layout), prioritizing those attendees who most recently used their microphone. Additionally features such as the chat box were changed to overlay the video feeds, rather than resizing the latter to fit.
- Chat, the name used by Google for Rich Communication Services in their Messages app for Android.
- Google Allo, a defunct instant messaging service released by Google in 2016
- Google Hangouts, an instant messaging service launched by Google in 2013
- Google Meet, a video-communication service launched by Google in 2017
- Google Duo, yet another video-communication service launched by Google in 2016
- Google Talk, a defunct instant messaging service released by Google in 2005
- Google Voice, the Google telephone call routing and voicemail service
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