Google Just Did Something Radical With Its Hangouts Service

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Story by Jonathan Vanian, Fortune

Get ready for a big change for Google’s popular Hangouts.

The search giant is splitting its video and chatting service into two separate products to better appeal to business customers. As of Thursday, Hangouts Meet will be focused on corporate video conferencing while Hangouts Chat will target workplace chat and business productivity.

The revamped Hangouts apps are part of Google’s G Suite portfolio of workplace software that includes the Gmail and Calendar apps, said Google’s director of product management Scott Johnston. Unlike the free version of Hangouts used by consumers, businesses will have to pay for the new services as part of a package deal for G Suite, like they do for the current enterprise-version of Hangouts. Johnston said Google’s existing Hangouts enterprise customers will not be charged extra for the new Hangouts apps.

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