Hangouts Chat, Google’s Slack competitor, gets emoji reactions

Hangouts Chat, Google’s business-focused Slack competitor, is getting emoji reactions. That’s a feature that Slack has long had, so if anything, today’s move makes Hangouts Chat even more Slack-like than before.

Hangouts Chat, you may remember, is very different from Hangouts, Google’s chat app for regular users which at one point was supposed to be superseded by Allo. But then Allo failed, so the future of Hangouts remains uncertain. Hangouts isn’t getting emoji reactions today, though, that’s Hangouts Chat.

There’s really not much more to be said about this new feature. It works just like you’d expect and just like in Slack; this update allows you to now quickly add a thumbs-up emoji to all those comments in Hangouts Slack Chat that you couldn’t care less about but where internal politics dictate that you should say something (or, in Google-speak: “communication styles at work are evolving, and expressive communication modes are oftentimes preferred over simple text”). You could also use them for a quick internal poll or to acknowledge a request where typing “yes” would’ve felt like too much work.

Either way, these new emoji reactions are now rolling out to all G Suite users. Google expects that everybody will have access to them within the next three days.