Google on Wednesday said it will be making its team communication app for work available to customers of its G Suite portfolio of cloud productivity apps this week.
The Hangouts Chat app gives Google a direct competitor to privately held Slack and the many Slack alternatives that have emerged in recent years, including Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Office 365 portfolio. Google now gets more than $1 billion in revenue from G Suite and the Google Cloud Platform.
Within G Suite, Google also offers email, cloud file sharing, video conferencing and other services, but Google did not have this type of text-based collaboration service until about a year ago, when the company made Hangouts Chat available to a small number of customers through an early adopter program.
Many people can type out updates to each other at once in Hangouts Chat, and they can call on integrations with other services, like Salesforce and Trello, when necessary. Google's own services like Calendar and Drive can be summoned to perform tasks from Hangouts Chat as well.