View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. What Is
March 21, 2017

What is Google Hangouts?

An app that combines video, text and voice chat.

By Alexander Sword

Google Hangouts is a communications platform by Google.

The comms platform allows users to communicate with contacts via instant messaging, video chat, SMS and VOIP.

It replaced several separate messaging products, including Google Talk, Google+ Messenger and Hangouts, originally a video chat system for Google+ users.

Hangouts runs in the background and notifies you of new messages and incoming calls with animated notifications.

This uses Voice over IP technology, sending the calls as ordinary internet traffic rather than as a conventional voice call. The calls can therefore be sent as data over 3G or wi-fi, meaning that they can be completely free.


Hangouts was split in two in 2017 – what is the difference between Chat and Meet?

In 2017, Google made the move to split Hangouts into two products – Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat.

Content from our partners
Green for go: Transforming trade in the UK
Manufacturers are switching to personalised customer experience amid fierce competition
How many ends in end-to-end service orchestration?

Hangouts Meet is an audio and video platform, not dissimilar from Skype for Business. The company hopes it will make joining meetings more streamlined, with one click access and up to 30 participants, for when face-to-face is not a viable option.

The other half, Chat, more closely resembles Slack. The team messaging service will provide a unique dial-in number for conference calls, and anyone will be able to join without having to download an app or plugin by generating a shareable web address for the chat.

Topics in this article :
Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.