Google Chat is going to look more like Slack or Teams

Google Chat on desktop
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Chat is rolling out updates for web and enterprise users, which will make the messaging app look more like Slack or Teams.
  • The updates include a "refreshed user interface" and the launch of a new "Huddles" function.
  • Duet AI, which was made generally available to Google Workspace users, is also coming to Chat.

Google has a longstanding history of redesigning its products and features to make them increasingly more user-friendly. Now, the tech giant is turning its attention to Google Chat

The brand announced in a blog post today that changes are coming through the pipeline in the form of a UI redesign and new productivity tools for Google Chat, focusing on web and enterprise users. 

Google explains that the platform is receiving some TLC and a “refreshed user interface.” The makeover starts with a unified conversation list that brings together direct messages and spaces, coupled with a chronological home view. The platform is also getting an updated color palette, typography, and visual storytelling, consistent with Google’s  Material 3 design language.

The company further notes that “early next year, the home view will become smarter and more dynamic, with intelligent prioritization of your messages based on your communication patterns.”

Most noticeable, though, the new treatment will also make the messaging app look more like enterprise apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams. For instance, Google is adding a “Huddles” function that works similarly to Slack — in fact, Slack’s function shares the same name. The Slack-like feature gives Google Chat users a way to quickly hop on a call with colleagues and share their screen directly within a chat without having to jump between chats and meetings. 

Elsewhere on the platform, Google notes that Spaces — its group channel feature for chats, similar to Discord — now supports 500,000 users, which is 10 times the previous 50,000-member limit.

Aside from the new enterprise tools and facelift, Google, which made generally available Duet AI for Workspace users, also rolled out the AI function to Google Chat. The generative AI software means that users can talk to the chatbot directly through the messaging platform and get answers to “complex queries,” which can include receiving summaries of documents and recapping missed conversations for you.

These features will come to the web as well as Android and iOS.