The killing of Google Hangouts has been a tough one. Google has been trying to kill Hangouts since Google Allo and Google Duo were announced in 2016, which means Google has been going at it for at least 5 years. Right now, though, it’s been trying to get Hangouts users moved over to Google Chat. And users of Hangouts are… not exactly in love. In an attempt to make them feel a little bit more at home, Google Chat is now rolling out support for GIFs.
The service is getting integration with popular GIF platform Tenor, meaning that you’ll be able to find and share GIFs on private conversations and group chats easily. There will be a new “GIF” icon, which will bring up a window to search for GIFs (either through a search function or using a “Trending” tab) which you can then insert into chats. This feature will be enabled by default for all Google Chat users, although Workspace admins who don’t like fun can turn off this feature from their Google Admin panel.
While this is amazing news, it might not be enough to curb unhappiness with Google Chat overall. The thing is, Google Chat hasn’t really reached feature parity with Hangouts yet, and there doesn’t seem to be a promise to bring the service up to it. While Google might do that eventually (and it seems to be showing a willingness to do it given all the features it’s been introducing to Chat through the past weeks), it still hasn’t happened.
You have GIFs now, though. The admin setting will be gradually rolled out through the next 15 days to Workspace admins starting from today, while it will start to roll out to end users starting on September 15th.
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