With Google Chat rolling out to more users following the phased closure of Hangouts, the company continues to add more features.
The latest addition to Google Chat is integration with GIF service Tenor (via Android Police). Users can now find the relevant GIF directly from the message bar next to existing options like image upload, emoji, Drive, and so on.
Previously, users could only upload GIFs manually in threads or using a bot service like the one offered by GIPHY. The new Tenor integration makes it easier to access GIFs without leaving the app or browser window.
The GIF integration is on by default, but Workspace admins can disable it
Tapping the dedicated GIF button opens a floating window in Chat with a search box and a ‘Trending’ GIF section. You will also find relevant hashtags as suggestions, letting you choose between a number of moods.
Tapping the desired GIF adds it to the message field. Users can then preview the GIF or add text before sending the message. This effectively hastens the process of sending GIFs within a conversation.
Google says Workspace admins can disable integration with Tenor from the Settings. In that scenario, users will have to revert to manually uploading GIFs. However, the feature will be turned on by default for all users. The setting will appear to admins starting September 1, 2021, while it will take a week to roll out to other users.
Google acquired Tenor in 2018, so the integration with Google Chat isn’t particularly surprising. The company is adding new features to its preferred Chat app with more frequency since it announced the closure of Hangouts.
As part of the migration to Google Chat, free Hangouts users on Android and iOS were signed out of their apps recently. Further, a banner reading “Hangouts is being replaced by Google Chat” was put up on the app.
To make the migration smoother, Google Chat brings all your Hangouts conversations from June 2020 and later. The company said that older conversations would appear at a later date. Google has long tried to kill Hangouts, especially since the arrival of services like Google Duo and Allo.