Google Chat groups are about to get even more complex

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Google Workspace has teased new features for its Chat platform in an effort to make it even more collaborative, but things could be about to get more confusing for some users.

The company announced the updates at its Google Cloud Next ‘22 event, introducing chat and sub-thread layering, which may complicate things for non-IT-savvy workers.

Previously, Google Chat spaces could accommodate up to 400 members, rendering the platform unusable for large-scale messaging for big organizations. This has now been increased 20 times to a cap of 8,000, which the company hopes will help broaden the app’s appeal.

Google Chat update

However, anybody familiar with the Slack interface will already understand the addition of threads and commenting on individual messages in a space, which Google says will allow “smaller groups of people [to] continue a conversation on a specific topic.” 

The overdue feature is designed for ease-of-use, with indicators like notification badges and direct “@” mentions, but some users may still find it hard to track notifications from across the platform, which are not housed in one central location.

We’re already familiar with Google’s version of chat groups, Spaces, being organized by topic. That format will continue to be supported until early 2023, at which point the thread-based system will become the only option for newly created Spaces.

Google Chat threads

(Image credit: Google)

However, Existing Spaces on the now ‘old’ design will not be affected, so if users would prefer to stop the “Slackification” of Google’s online collaboration tool, they should create your spaces before the thread takeover.

The feature has already rolled out to all Google Workspace customers including legacy G Suite Basic and Business plans, and is also available to personal Google account holders.

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