Hangouts Chat supports team collaboration by providing:
- Chat rooms that let you dedicate discussion space on a per-project, per-team, or other basis as appropriate
- Threaded conversations within rooms
- Direct messages between users
- Bots that can participate in rooms or respond to direct messages
Much of this developer documentation describes how to create and manage bots that you can use to provide new functionality in Hangouts Chat.
Bots provide a conversational interface that let Hangouts Chat users access services as if the service were a person, either within a chat room or by sending a direct message (DM) to the bot. This conversational access to services lets a bot appear to users as a virtual assistant. This powerful user paradigm is rapidly being embraced by services and companies around the world.
Building bots for Hangouts Chat lets you easily encapsulate a combination of Google services, external services, and arbitrary processing into a cohesive conversational interface.