Google Chat vs Google Hangouts – Which Chat Service Should Google Focus On?

If you’re a huge Gmail user, you may be surprised to know that you’re still using the old Google Chat version.

This popular chat feature that’s found within Gmail was already being replaced by Google’s new chat service offering, Google Hangouts. Some people have already made the change. Others remain loyal to Google Chat, officially known as Google Talk, while a few users are still not aware that a newer version is available.

The Problem with Google and Messaging Services

Google has a problem with messaging services – it has too many of them. The company has Google Talk, Google Voice, and Google+ Messenger. All of these have a common feature – instant messaging. While these services are not an issue if you’re using a computer because they are spread out evenly enough, they can create some confusion if they are all installed on one’s phone.

Introducing Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts seems like the solution to Google’s messaging problem. It unifies all of the company’s communication services in a single app. Google Hangouts provide instant messaging (Google Chat) and voice calls (Google Talk). However, even after Hangouts was introduced to the public, Google has not made a move to remove its other chat services and it doesn’t look like it is planning to do it.

Should Google Retire Google Chat?

There may be loyal Gmail users who would refuse to try Google Hangouts even when they are offered money but switching from Google Chat to the new Hangouts would be one of the best decisions they will have made, especially if they want a better chat experience. Google Hangouts has more features that Google Chat can only dream of and because Hangouts is already available, Google should consider retiring its older version.

Differences between Google Chat and Google Hangouts

You can’t send photos using Google Chat, whereas Hangouts allows you to embed the photos directly into messages. This feature is very handy if you’re using the mobile version of Google Hangouts where it is easier to attach photos from your camera. The layout of Hangouts is also a breath of fresh air from Google Chat’s. It is cleaner and finding contacts is easier because it also shows their thumbnail photos right next to their names. It’s also easier to copy text using Hangouts compared to Google Chat where you can only copy the messages that are showing in the display box. You cannot highlight messages that need scrolling, whereas in Google Hangouts, you can copy longer messages that were sent to you.

Just Focus on Google Hangouts

While Google Hangouts is a nice change from the simpler version of Google Chat, it doesn’t hurt to improve the service more because right now, the service is not much different from the other services, only all the features are incorporated into it. Instead of having too many chat services, Google should just spend more time tweaking this chat service so it can put up with the tough competition posed by more popular chat services today.

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