Google Hangouts and Google Meet might be the most confusing services that Google has ever offered. Over the years, Google’s team communication has changed on an almost quarterly basis. It’s difficult for teams to consistently change their apps and services every time Google sunsets a product and replaces it with a new one. Just as with Google Inbox, Google often has big ideas with little stability in the long term.
Between these two services and other messaging services like Google Duo, it’s no wonder that even the most devoted Google Workspace customers have looked for Google Hangouts and Google Meet alternatives. There are a number of quality alternatives, so let’s look around the video collaboration market to see which options you should consider.
Spike delivers everything you could ever need from a digital workspace in a single app across every platform, from email, team chat, collaborative Notes to Video Meetings. Its streamlined interface makes it the best Google Hangouts alternative.
Spike’s Video Meetings and video chat services are one of the easiest to use services available in any app. In addition, Spike Video Meetings are integrated into Spike’s app, so you don’t need to use Zoom or Google Hangouts.
Spike lets you schedule Video Meeting invites in your calendar events or over email. Invites can be sent without starting a new thread or email, so you can go from text to voice message to a video call in the same email thread, all without launching another app.
Even if the person you’re meeting with doesn’t use Spike, they can join using any web browser on any device without needing to register for an account, install a plugin, or adjust any complicated settings. Every meeting can be joined with one click.
Spike Video Meetings also support screen sharing, making it perfect for sharing a presentation about your last mock-up or website draft. When there are multiple people on the call, emoji reactions let everyone give a quick thumbs up when an agreement is needed.
There are other great team chat apps, but their limitations are exposed when you need to chat with clients. Likewise, there are different video conferencing services available, but they’ll be another account to manage (and purchase) on top of your email and team-chat app.
For teams that are working remotely, there is often a loss of chats and conversations that help build rapport and deepen work relationships. There can be no ‘water cooler’ talk when there is no water cooler. Spike promotes a collaborative environment where it’s as easy to email as it is to send a text message. Just because your team is distributed or remote, doesn’t mean you can’t still build relationships. Spike can help!
With Spike, you have everything you need to create the best Google Hangouts and Google Meet alternative without needing to deploy yet another service. All Spike needs is for you to sign in with your email account.
Spike is the first native desktop and mobile app that combines all forms of team communication in your Inbox, which works seamlessly both internal communication and externally to your organization.
Zoom has become a popular tool for video collaboration because it offers one-on-one and group calls with the ability to record or broadcast meetings with the paid packages. In addition, there is a free option available, but this limits group calls to only 40 minutes.
Zoom is one of the best video conferencing solutions available, but it’s limited to basic chat and video conferencing. Other services have caught up to Zoom on video conferencing, but also include deeper team chat, email, collaborative notes, document sharing, and tasks management to create a full digital workspace inside of a single app.
Slack is a popular team chat app that works cross-platform on Mac, PC, Android, and iOS. It’s been a popular tool for distributed teams for many years. It was purchased by Salesforce in 2020 as a result of the popularity of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Slack offers video conferencing tools built inside its app, but many teams have trouble finding them. Because most people are used to using Slack for team chat, they still need a solution for video collaboration for people outside their team. Slack’s free plan is also limited to 1:1 calls between teams, so it won’t be useful for large meetings.
Discord offers some basic collaboration tools for teams to talk, chat, text, and collaborate over video. It has historically been used in the gaming community for chat during gameplay, but it’s recently been used by teams for video and voice chat. It supports channels and direct messages for collaboration. The Video Chat functionality works well, but it’s buried inside a much more complicated service.
Discord is free to use with unlimited access to all services. Anyone can create a new server, invite friends and colleagues for free, etc. It can be used across all desktop and mobile devices. Its pricing model makes it difficult to use for teams, though. It requires each user to upgrade their own accounts.
Discord is not suitable for most SMBs, but it can function as long as you know the limitations going into it.
Microsoft Teams, like Slack, offers video conferencing as part of a much larger solution for team chat. However, unlike Spike, which functions as a normal email client, Microsoft Teams will be a much more complicated solution to roll out for teams.
Microsoft Teams offers some nice chat and collaboration features. Still, it’s an additional service on top of email, so unless you plan on moving all of your team’s entire workflows to it, it’ll be much more challenging to build a video collaboration strategy around it. Teams offers a free plan to start if your team wants to try it out, though.
The Wrap Up
Google Hangouts is tightly integrated with Google Workspace, but it’s complicated to use, works only on a web browser, and won’t always work well with international teams. Spike is the best solution when looking for a Google Hangouts alternative. It works natively in the Spike app that combines email, team chat, document sharing, Tasks, and Video Meetings inside the same digital workspace.
If you are meeting with people who don’t use the Spike app for email, they can still quickly join a Spike Video Meeting by joining with a web browser with no plugins to install or accounts to manage.
Download Spike today to get the best Google Hangouts alternative!
What is your favorite Google Hangouts alternative? Tweet at us, and we’ll add it to our list.