Google has divided Hangouts into two team communication tools that are aimed at helping G Suite customers keep the workflow moving so that productivity can stay up and teams can stay in contact with each other. While Hangouts has been a tool within G Suite prior to today, Google has now split things up so that Hangouts for G Suite customers is essentially two applications, which includes Hangouts Meet, and Hangouts Chat. Both apps work together to provide a full package of communication between teams of people but each also provides its own unique side of that communication.
Hangouts Chat is just as it sounds. It's the messaging half of these two apps and allows for teams to keep in touch through messaging, much like Hangouts already did in its current form that can be used by anyone. It isn't just your standard Hangouts chat though as Google has added in plenty of robust improvements to make it more fitting for the workplace. It has "deep integration" with the rest of G Suite which means you can easily see shared files right in the chat, such as docs, photos, and videos, and chats can be separated into separate virtual rooms that are dedicated to a specific project or workflow. Each virtual room also supports threaded conversations so you don't miss a beat when it comes to keeping up on the progress of your work between you and the rest of your teammates. Hangouts Chat even has an integrated bot called @meet which will automatically schedule meetings, and it can sync those meetings with Google Calendar and Hangouts Meet, which brings us to the other half of Google's new Hangouts offering.
Hangouts Meet is the portion that centers around video conferencing. The big thing with Meet is that people don't need Hangouts to be part of the video conference. All it takes is a shareable link and people are able to join in on a variety of platforms, including a mobile app or through their laptop. Links can be shared through emails or even through created Calendar events, and it even pulls relevant information and files needed for each meeting from Calendar so you have less to think about during preparation and can get right into what's important, the meeting itself. For those who are interested in trying out Hangouts Chat, there's an early adopter program that G Suite customer can apply to to gain access, and Hangouts Meet will be made available to all G Suite customers over a gradual rollout throughout the next few weeks, starting with some G Suite customers from today.