Google Chat new design and features
Google is finally bringing a redesigned chat feature (Google Chat) to all Workspace users. The service is now integrated into the existing Gmail UI, allowing you to send and receive messages quickly.
Where is Google Chat in Gmail?
If you have a Google Workspace account, you can visit the Google Chat website to access the new chat feature.
The above link will take you to Gmail, but with access to Google Chat.
If you open the link and it says you do not have access to Google Chat, you are probably not using a Workspace account. Please note that this feature is currently only available to users of Google Workspace and has not yet been released to regular Gmail users.
What can you do with Google Chat?
The redesigned Google Chat site offers many features to make your communications easier.
If you notice, the chat UI is almost identical to the Gmail UI.
In the main UI, you have options to change your settings as well as to update your current status. There is a neat "drawer" of conversations that allows you to quickly access both individual and group conversations. Then there is a shortcut to the Meet service that lets you make quick video calls from Chat.
Your Chat conversations are displayed in small windows, which gives you the feel of classic Hangouts. This view makes managing your conversations easier, you can add files as well as invite people to calls from these small windows.
How to enable Google Chat on your Workspace account
This should be done by the Workspace administrator from the administrator console. If you are the administrator, you can follow the path:
Sign in to your Google Workspace page.
Click the three horizontal bars at the top left and select Apps - Google Workspace - Google Chat and classic Hangouts
Click Service status at the top.
Select Chat only and click Save at the bottom.
Open your Gmail and you should be able to start using Google Chat.
For anyone who does not have a Google Workspace account, be patient. Usually the company later releases the new features to the free users.