The Best Google Hangouts Alternatives for Your Team

Since 2006, when Google Workspace was launched, it has offered a broad range of various apps aimed at more comfortable work on the web. Google Hangouts, formerly known as Google Talk or Google Meet, and now being replaced by Google Chat, is among the most confusing ones (and not just because of its frequent rebranding). Many users would agree that there are plenty of video chat apps better and more convenient for instant messaging and remote collaboration. That’s why we compiled a list of quality replacements for Google Hangouts for businesses of any kind and size.

The Best Google Hangouts Alternatives for Your Team

How about Google Hangouts?

Google Hangouts was one of the pioneers that ushered in the era of video meetings. Unfortunately, at the end of 2021, that app was replaced by Google Chat. It’s time to say goodbye to this platform and recall some features, which made it popular among remote teams:

  • HD group video and audio calls
  • Possibility to host large webinars and business meetings
  • Powerful functionality: text chats, SMS, MMS, conversations in groups
  • Affordable price
  • Cross-platform support
  • Strong integration with other Google services

This doesn’t sound like much. But still, in 2013 few video calling apps could compete with Google Hangouts in terms of basic features. Research shows that at its best, Google Hangouts/Google Meet had more than 250,000 daily active users.

Hangouts used to be a quick and simple service to keep in touch with your team, partners, and customers. But these days the business sphere requires more advanced solutions with progressive functionality and smart tools for effective online collaboration.

You see, it’s time to look for other apps, convenient like Google Hangouts, but which will serve you for much longer and do a better job.

Top 9 Google Hangouts alternatives

1) Whoosh

Whoosh is a rookie in the market of virtual communication platforms. But that’s only for good. This highly competitive sphere has made the team of developers put effort into creating a unique solution to satisfy even the most sophisticated users. As a result, Whoosh positions itself as an app perfect for video conferencing, promising its clients to help fight video call fatigue. It’s going to achieve this goal by introducing artificial intelligence, an improved camera lens, and a bunch of powerful and smart tools.

Features:

  • Full-HD online meetings with superb audio quality
  • AI and ML-based tools: gesture recognition, scheduling assistant, touch-up features
  • Mementos: short meeting recaps with a transcript
  • Immersive virtual backgrounds and AR masks
  • Professional web security and host controls
  • Interactive presenter tools: various screen-sharing modes, whiteboarding, weatherman-style layouts
  • Built-in integrations with other services

2) Telegram

Telegram is a powerful instant messaging service globally used for quick, easy, and free communication. Being created by a former VK developer, it’s widely popular in Europe, and also expanding its audience in the US. Telegram has started as a messenger with the function of voice messages, but nowadays it’s capable of arranging virtual video gatherings with up to 1,000 participants, promising to enlarge this limit. Telegram can boast of advanced security features, including two-factor authentication, end-to-end encryption, and private chats with the possibility to set self-destructing timers.

Features:

  • Lightweight software with cloud storage
  • Private and public channels, chatbots
  • Video and audio conversations in group chats
  • Supergroups for communication with up to 200,000 members
  • Beautiful UI: animated stickers, GIFs, themes, day/night mode
  • Privacy-focused service with end-to-end encryption
  • Always free

3) Wire

Wire is another robust alternative to Google Hangouts aimed at businesses and corporate communication. As a professionally secured platform with upscale web protection tools, it is ideal for privacy-conscious users. Apart from basic features that you can find in every modern app, it has some unique tools to help you boost overall productivity. Wire offers to hold video and audio conferences in private and public chat rooms, inviting not only team members but also your partners and other people, who don’t use the application.

Features:

  • Security-focused platform: end-to-end encryption, self-destructed messages, fingerprint verification
  • Group chats and one-on-one conversations
  • Video and voice calls
  • Support for multiple accounts
  • The possibility to use the service on up to 8 devices
  • Desktop, iOS, and Android compatibility 
  • Guest access

4) Discord

Discord used to be a platform for gamers, streamers, and artists but today it’s widely popular among remote teams for voice and video conferencing. It has a user-friendly interface, which recalls the Slack design, being clean and attractive, without unnecessary windows, tabs, and icons. Users can download it for free but also subscribe to the “Nitro” plan, where some additional features are available, such as server support or HD video and screen sharing.

Features:

  • Unlimited number of users at no additional charge
  • Browser, desktop, and mobile versions 
  • 1-click invite system
  • Open-source chatbots and management tools
  • Video and voice calling
  • No integrations with other services

5) Element

Element will be a perfect option for those users who have little experience in video conferencing and remote collaboration, due to its simple interface. Despite that fact, it doesn’t concede its competitors, offering many helpful tools for effective online communication. This service is built on the Matrix standard (another online communication app), which allows integrations with other platforms, like Slack, Discord, Telegram, and Microsoft Teams. Moreover, Element is decentralized, which means that it’s an open network for digital sovereignty, easy connections, and interoperability.

Features:

  • Video and audio group calling
  • Self-hosted search
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Multidevice support
  • File sharing 
  • Direct messaging

6) Slack

Slack has established itself as a perfect solution for corporate communication. It’s extremely popular among businesses of all kinds and sizes. This app offers users to create a digital workplace with video conferencing, private and public channels, screen sharing, and task management.

The main disadvantage of Slack is that its free plan is limited to one-on-one calls, being useless for large meetings. Moreover, its paid plan is quite expensive, billing up to $12.50 per user/month. But if this sum is affordable for your budget, you will get access to the whole range of collaboration tools with professional security and customer support.

Features:

  • Multiple private and public channels with chatbots assistance
  • Engagement tools: @mentions, comments, emojis, voice recordings
  • Integrated file sharing
  • Search among the full message history
  • Integrations with other platforms, including Dropbox, Google Drive, Github
  • Multiple teams support
  • Message editing
  • Self-chatting

7) Signal

Signal has become popular because of its high security and privacy-respecting technologies, combined with all the necessary tools an app for instant messages should contain. It's a messaging app created by the non-profit Signal Foundation that is free and open-source, meaning that you can use all its advanced features without any charge. Signal is perfect for hosting video conferences, setting up voice-only calls, sharing documents, videos, pictures, voice recordings, contacts, and locations, making sure that everything is secured by end-to-end encryption.

Features:

  • Video & Audio calling
  • Self-destructing messages
  • Encrypted connection and data
  • Instant messaging in group chats
  • Mobile and desktop versions
  • No ads and no trackers
  • Push notifications

8) Zulip

Zulip will remind you of classic email clients thanks to its threaded conversation model. It’s suitable for teams where instant messaging is not necessary, and employees have time to think over their replies. Moreover, the interface is designed in a certain way: users see only relevant messages and can easily ignore the threads that don’t require their attention. What is more, the app is free and open-source under the Apache 2.0 license. 

Features:

  • Video calls powered by Zoom, BigBlueButton, or Jitsi Meet
  • Threaded conversations
  • Third-party integrations, including over 120 popular platforms
  • Work management: to-dos, tasks, chat organizer, chatbots
  • Easy intuitive interface
  • Markdown optimized for chat
  • File uploading using drag-and-drop

9) Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a part of Office 365. It allows users to stay in contact with their teams, share content with them and utilize numerous useful tools for remote collaboration. It keeps all your conversations, files, integrated services, and meetings organized in tabs, which you can find on the main screen.

Microsoft Teams is widely used within medium and large enterprises, but small companies and startups can also find it useful, thanks to a broad variety of effective tools.

Features:

  • Integration with Office 365 and other 250 platforms
  • HD video conferencing, enhanced audio with noise reduction
  • File editing and sharing on the go
  • Public and private chats in selected groups
  • Professional web security with admin control
  • Powerful search among chats and team conversations
  • Multiplatform support

 

Which option is the best for video chats?

Google Hangouts was a technological breakthrough for the time when it was created. But today there are many worthy replacements, as almost every messaging app has the same features and even more. That wasn't the case in 2013.

But how do you choose the perfect app when the market offers so many options? It's not as difficult as it may seem. First, try to formulate your needs and requirements for the platform, then decide on the available budget, and after that just go through our list and try all the options we offer. After that, you're sure to find the right one for you.

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