Google Hangouts is getting a major makeover.
The company today announced it has split Hangouts into two new online meeting experiences: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat.
Hangouts Meet, is aimed at enterprise users, offering online meetings for up to 30 people without the hassle of downloads or browser plugins. It integrates with G Suite enabling you to present files natively. Attendees can join from any Android of iOS device and there is a dial-in phone number for each meeting for any participants without Wi-Fi or data.
“We’ve consistently heard from customers about ways we can improve Hangouts, like making it easier to work with external clients or reducing the ‘time to start’ a meeting to zero,” Hangouts product management director Scott Johnston said in a blog post. “That’s why we’ve built Hangouts Meet to have a light, fast interface and smart participant management.”
Hangouts Chat, meanwhile, permits more personal connections. Chat enables smaller teams to connect in virtual rooms. Thanks to deep integrations with G Suite, participants can embed content from Docs, Sheets, Slides, Calendar and other files right in the conversation.
“Chat is built not only to reflect the way teams work, but to provide a platform for the enterprise tools they work with,” Johnston said. “The Hangouts Chat platform supports a wide range of capabilities — from bots to simple scripting using Google App Script — and integrates with third-party applications so teams can do more right from within the conversation.”
Hangouts Meet is generally available today and will roll out over the next few weeks to all G Suite customers. G Suite customers can also apply to try Hangouts Chat via the Early Adopter Program.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.