Originally, Google Chat was crafted solely for business dialogue but was eventually marketed and made available to the general public.
Methods of communication include direct messages, group chats, and Spaces, which allow team members to develop and assign tasks. Files and instructions are shared in a central location and are open for comment, which is usually reserved for questions and remarks regarding the specific task.
Google Chat is available through its own website or as an app download through Google or the Gmail application. It’s one of many tools available as part of the Gmail package.
Launch and History
In 2020, Google renamed the offering Google Chat, which stayed exclusive to the Google Workspace collection until 2021. Early that year, Google would begin advertising its release of Google Chat for regular accounts.
Google Chat is structured into two major functionality categories: “Chat” and “Spaces.”
The chat function and the spaces function of Google chat are separated into two sections. Direct conversations and group messaging make up the chat function and are accessible through its website, the Gmail website, or the application.
Originally, the “Spaces” portion of Google Chat was known as “Rooms.” This is essentially a chat room option focused on collaboration with features like file sharing, posting tasks, and thread-based conversations.
Spaces functions with the Chat feature and Google Meet to promote remote productivity through the use of task-based communication via threads and messages without leaving the Gmail platform. It’s worth noting that this version of Spaces is unrelated to the Google Spaces of 2016; it is a rebrand that’s part of the switch to public availability of Google Workspace.
Within Spaces, each account or “space” contains three tabs. One is meant for chatting, one for sharing files, and one for making and delegating tasks.
The integration available with Google Chat produces incredible results. When combined with Google Drive and Google Meet, up to 8,000 users can collaborate on a project simultaneously or use other Workspace functions.
Google Chats can also be integrated with Task creation and Calendars to further delegate tasks and take advantage of scheduling functions.
Additional features of Google Chat allow users to take advantage of collaborative tools working on a remote basis. Some of the major features include:
- Search is available across multiple spaces. By typing in a keyword, users can manually search for specific tasks.
- Different user accounts are known as organizations. Specific users can browse within other users’ organizations to find and download documents or check tasks.
- Multiple types of file sharing are available in dozens of different formats via Chat and Spaces.
- While communicating in real-time, side-by-side documents and chat view allow both users to review a document or assignment. This allows users to explain how a task is outlined or to highlight edits in already completed documents and tasks.
- Calendar event creation allows team leaders to extend invitations to users or groups of users for meetings and events taking place on certain dates. Users can accept the invitation or decline, giving the person organizing the meeting an idea of who is attending.
- Message pinning is available for flagging important documents or messages within Spaces across various threads.
- Video conferencing is available and integrated through Spaces and Calendars and can be organized using invitations to users and groups of users.
Google Chat is available to anyone with a registered Gmail account. Its features are accessible via browser by logging on to the official Google Chat website, by using the Gmail platform, or by downloading the application using the Play store on an Android device or Chromebook.