Google said on Wednesday that it's bringing expanded bot support to its team-based messaging platform Hangouts Chat, the enterprise-focused replacement for Classic Hangouts following the closure of the Google Hangouts messaging platform. Starting today, developers can create bots for Hangouts Chat using Google's natural language platform Dialogflow.
"With Dialogflow, you can create a natural-sounding conversational UI with just a few clicks," Google wrote in a blog post. "Because Dialogflow includes built-in Natural Language Understanding (NLU), your bot can quickly understand and respond to user messages. Dialogflow makes it easy to add training phrases and responses, as well as have your bot pass on information to other apps and services via custom fulfillments."
In addition to Dialogflow, Hangouts Chat will also integrate with the chatbot automation platform Hubot using a new adaptor. Google said it also created a natively-built library of bots within Chat so users can find relevant chat bots more easily.
As a refresher, Google is transitioning all G Suite users over to Hangouts Chat, its Slack rival, and Google Meet, the firm's answer to online video conferencing. The services are designed with a focus on enterprise users and team communication. Through September, features from Classic Hangouts will move to Chat and the system will integrate with Gmail, with added support for Google Voice calling and the ability to chat with users outside of the domain.
By October, Google will retire the classic version of Hangouts for all G Suite customers.