New Features for Google Hangouts Chat

New features available for Google Hangouts Chat

Google Hangouts Chat, which became available at the University of Minnesota in May 2018, has been updated with several new features. Google will be replacing the current Google Hangouts (called Classic Chat) with Hangouts Chat in October 2019.

Google Hangouts Chat will be optional for University of Minnesota users until June 2019, when it will become the University’s enterprise chat tool in advance of the retirement of Classic Chat.

New Features

New features of Google Hangouts Chat include:

  • Users can collaborate in an organized way either in one-to-one chat or by chatting in more permanent group spaces called “rooms.” Within rooms you can share and discuss Docs, Sheets, and Slides all in one place and in real-time.

  • Users can engage with bots in Hangouts Chat.

    • The following bots were made available at the end of January: @Meet, @Drive, and @Giphy, along with the ability to add webhooks. Webhooks are a way to get notifications from many web apps, so you can use them to update your room when the apps have information to share.

    • What are bots?

      • Bots in Hangouts Chat appear as special users marked BOT. Just like people, bots can participate in chat rooms, and they can respond to direct messages. But unlike people, bots only see messages directed to them when a person @mentions them in a chat room, or when a person sends them a direct message.

        • @Meet will help the room members to schedule a meeting.

        • @Drive can tell you when files are shared with you, etc.

        • @Giphy can show gif images that are related to your search term, like @Giphy chicken crossing the road

  • The upgraded Google Hangouts Chat has desktop clients (Mac/Windows) and mobile clients (iOS/Android). Google Hangouts Chat’s desktop client supports single-sign-on (SSO) and Duo Security.

  • Learn more about the features of the new Hangouts Chat from Google.

Access Hangouts Chat

Visit, sign in on the University’s Google Hangouts Chat page, or download the client (MacOS/Windows/Android/iOS) to begin using Hangouts Chat.

Users can disable Classics Chat notifications after you install or begin using Hangouts Chat to eliminate duplicate notifications.

Please note: Users in the University’s Healthcare Component (HCC) will not have access to Hangouts Chat but may request an exception from the AHC Privacy Office.

For help getting started with the new Hangouts Chat, Google provides user-friendly self-help training resources in the G Suite Learning Center.