Google Chat 

Green speech bubble with an @ symbolGoogle Chat (also known as Google Hangouts Chat) is a messaging platform designed for collaborative team working. It is a new version of Google Hangouts with added functionality for teams to create dedicated spaces called rooms, helping you communicate and collaborate better when working across locations.

You can create the rooms you need for your team, projects, and social groups, invite your colleagues (and external contacts who are using Google) and instantly start talking.

Chat allows you to:

  • Collaborate in team chat rooms - have ongoing group discussions in a continuous message feed and start separate conversation threads, all in one place. Message history is on and messages are retained - so you can come and go without missing anything.
  • Message people directly - have a private conversation with a colleague or a small group of people.
  • Share content - upload items from Drive, collaborate on Docs, Sheets, or Slides, join online meetings with Hangouts Meet, or search room members, past conversations, and shared files.

Chat is currently only available for University Staff and postgraduate research (PGR) students.

Getting started

Accessing Google Chat

Google Chat can be accessed from MUSE My Services bar, or from the apps menu from any of your University Google Services.

Device requirements

You can use Chat on any of the following devices:

Computer with web browser: Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.
Android and Apple® iOS® device requirements are specified by the mobile apps in Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Start conversations with rooms

You can create a room for ongoing, long-term conversations. Any messages that are sent stay in the room, so that you can check back in at any time and catch up on the conversation.

Create a room

Conversations are organised into different threads, so you and your group can discuss multiple subjects at the same time.

  1. On the left-hand side, click Find people, rooms, bots. Select Create room from the drop-down options.
  2. Enter a room name and click Create.
  3. To invite people click Add people & bots.
  4. Add people by name or email address, or use a Google Group. Before you invite people, it's important to check that you're inviting the correct individuals. 
  5. Click Send to invite your chosen members to your group. 
  6. Click New thread in room name to start a new conversation in the room.

Invite people

  1. In the room, click the down arrow by the room name then select Add people & bots.
  2. Enter a name, email address, or Google Group address. Or, select a person from one of the suggestions.
    • If you want to notify the people you’re adding, make sure the Notify people via email box is checked and click Send.
    • If you don’t want to notify the people you’re adding, uncheck the Notify people via email box and click Add.
  3. To start a new conversation with the group, scroll to the bottom of the room and click New thread in name of room.

View members

  1. On the left-hand side menu, select the room.
  2. At the top of the chat window, next to the room, you can see how many members are in the room.
  3. Click the Down arrow and select View members to see who is in the room.
  4. Optional: To add new members to the room, click Add.

Top tip: Rooms can be a useful communication tool for whole teams or departments to stay in touch.

Sending direct messages

You can send direct messages to one or more people.

Send a message to an individual:

  1. On the left-hand side, click inside the search bar Find people, rooms, bots.
  2. Enter a name or email address or select a contact from the suggestions.
  3. Enter your direct message and press enter, or click the blue Send message paper airplane icon.

Send a message to a group:

  1. On the left-hand side, click inside the search bar Find people, rooms, bots. Select Group Message from the drop-down options.
  2. Enter names or email addresses or select contacts from the suggestions.
  3. After you add your contacts, Click Message.
  4. Enter your direct message and click Send.

Top tip: To hide a group direct message, on the left-hand side, point to the direct message and click on the 3 circles. Select Hide conversation from the drop-down options.

Rooms vs group messages

You can use a room or a group message to chat with two or more people.

To help you decide which to use, Google's support pages provide further explanation.

The differences between rooms and group messages

Additional features

Share files

You can send and share files in direct messages or rooms from either your Google Drive or your computer.

From Google Drive

  1. From your Chat message or conversation you want to send a file on and click Add Google Drive file (the Google Drive Icon).
  2. In the Google Drive pop-up find the file you want to share and click Select.
  3. When you share a file in a room or group message, everyone has access to comment on the file.
  4. Type in the message you want to send alongside the file.
  5. Click send to share your file.

From your computer

  1. From your Chat message or conversation you want to send a file on and click the Upload File icon.
  2. In the file explorer window, select the file you want to send.
  3. The file is not added to Drive. Other users receive the file directly in the message.
  4. Type in the message you want to send alongside the file.
  5. Click Send Send.

Start a video meeting

From Chat you can instantly start a Google Meet virtual meeting with individuals, groups or rooms.

  1. In a chat message, click Add video meeting Add video meeting then Send
  2. You and others will then need to join the meeting
  3. To join the video meeting, click Join video meeting > Join meeting.

Advice on virtual meetings