Google recently said that they will make their Chat service available for free to everyone starting from the first half of 2021.
According to Matthew Leske, who is the group product manager of Google, chat will replace Google Hangouts and users of Google Hangouts will be automatically migrated with their existing conversations.
Chat is a part of Google Workspace which is focussed on paid business. The service was announced this month and includes Gmail, Calendar, Drive Applications that previously formed a part of its own G Suite service.
Matthew Leske said that the messaging service will be available as a part of Gmail and in standalone Chat app. It has features like direct and group messaging with the possibility of collaborating with others and share files.
The users of Google Fi will be able to use Messages in order to manage their SMS instead of Hangouts. In the same way, they can use Messages to make voice calls and check voicemail.
Group chat, collaboration and integration of other tools have pitched Chat as a rival to offerings provided by Slack Technologies Inc (NYSE: WORK), Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ: ZM), Microsoft Corporation’s Teams (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Facebook Inc.’s Workplace (NASDAQ: FB).
Google was accused for leveraging its dominance by a Congressional committee that probed antitrust issues this month.
Slack said last month that it added 8,000 new paid customers and had more than 87 paid customers that provided revenue in excess of $1 million in recurring revenue. Slack raised the revenue by 49% year by year to $215.9 million in the second quarter.
Zoom increased its revenue by 355% to $663.5 million according to the second-quarter results.
The shares of Alphabet Class A closed 0.5% lower at $1,555.47 and the Class C shares of the company closed 0.6% lower at $1,559.13.