Welcome Google Chat! 5+1 Tips and Tricks

Classic Hangouts will be turned off later this year and will evolve into 2 products: Google Chat for messaging and Google Meet for video meetings. We tried this new solution for you in Revolgy and we are bringing you the best practices, comparison between Chat and Slack and many tips, tricks and hidden features.

Google Chat is the new Slack, only better.

The new features made Chat totally comparable with Slack or any other trendy solution. Yes, Google is a little bit late to the party but they managed to catch on.

The main two “features” everyone is talking about are these:

1. You can now chat with people outside your domain

They don't need to have a G Suite account anymore. A regular free version of Gmail is enough.
Anyone from outside of your company will have an "External" label next to their name. However, you can't add external people into group chats! You can only add them to the “Chat rooms”.

2. You can send files via chat.

This was not an option before. A great thing about Chat is the fact that it's completely free within your G Suite subscription regardless of your subscription type (basic, business or enterprise).

And yes, Slack has a free version as well, but it locks you out once you write 10 000 messages. After exceeding this limit, the old messages disappear and you can no longer find them until you purchase a subscription.

Ok, so what else can you do with Chat? And what to watch out for?

5 + 1 Chat TIPS

and a little something for the real connoisseurs at the end

1. Threads, group chats, rooms and “off the record” button

Obviously, you can do such things as create threads, group chats, chat rooms or tag members. In one to one chats, you can use the “Off The Record” button to avoid saving a history of the chat. There's also Cloud Search implemented - you can search in all conversations.

2. Watch out for “room” convos!

If you create a “chat room” you will not automatically receive notifications when someone sends a message there. You will only be notified when the person tags you with @name. Watch out for that if you don't want to lose track of what your colleagues are discussing there. If you want to receive all notifications go into settings and set it up manually. You can also set reminders for a post and follow a message!

3. There is plenty of automation and cool bots.

  • You can use built-in bots or build custom ones through API.
  • You can have your own secretary

You can schedule a meeting right inside the chat just by typing a message to you “virtual assistant ”. Just use a bot called “Meet” and write a message: “Schedule a meeting with Jane tomorrow” and it will automatically offer you time options and then, after you choose one, it schedules a meeting in both of your calendars.

There are many more tips you can use. You will see all of them in the Chat directly. It is very intuitive.

  • You can use Giphy bot and send pictures of cute puppies to your favourite colleague by typing plain words (e.g. if you write love it will send love related gif to your colleague) - no need to copy-paste anything.
  • You can create Jira tasks
  • And way more. It is only up to you, which of the apps you want to integrate.
  • Google Chat will help you keep calm

Minding your mental wellbeing is as important as any other business you do. You can schedule reminders for your daily mindfulness meditation or exercise. ;)

4. There are plenty of shortcuts

(Press Shift+? to view them)

The most useful are:

  • Pressing the up arrow in the message box will load your last message for you to edit - great for fixing typos.
  • Shift-enter creates a new line, which is nice for longer posts.
  • Pressing “r” will reply to the Conversation you last selected.
  • Text Formatting:

    Bold text by enclosing it in asterisks *

    Italicize text by enclosing it in underscores _

    Strikethrough text by enclosing it in tildes ~

    Create a code block formatted (monospaced font) text by enclosing it in ticks `

    You can combine some of these operators * bold, italicized text *

5. Google Drive integrations

You can share Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drive files in Google Chat. The cool thing is whenever you share a file, Google will automatically add everyone in that room with viewing and commenting permission so they can see the thing you shared.

There is also something for the real connoisseurs!
You can switch on the “dark theme” in your Google Chat. :)
See: https://github.com/rbudigelli/Chat-DarkTheme for more info.

These are the most important (well some of them are just cool :)) features of Google Chat.

You can find more information about Google Chat in the official Google page.