Google Chat upgrades for threading, custom emoji, and security are coming soon

Google has steadily upgraded Workspace throughout the pandemic, and supporting the hybrid workplace took center stage during its Google Cloud Next event this week with new tweaks like an API @ tagging that can pull info from a third-party app into your Google Doc.

As its Workspace suite faces off against competition from Microsoft Teams, Slack, and even Zoom Team Chat, it announced new Google Chat features and release windows for several updates, including the addition of message threading later this month. Google Chat will also spice up its text conversations once it lets users create custom emoji later this year.

Google is also introducing “broadcast-only” spaces early next year that sound optimized for one-to-many announcements from leaders without needing to fiddle with a lot of settings every time, or make sure everyone’s mic is muted, etc.

Google Meet and Chat are also getting APIs of their own early next year that will allow other apps to create and start meetings in Meet and initiate messages in Chat. The task manager app Asana and employee software LumApps are first up to add these features.

Google Chat is also the latest Google Workspace app to add extra features for data loss prevention. The security feature is already available for Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides. It can help “prevent sensitive information leaks” by flagging potential information from getting out before a worker hits send on a message. It’s rolling out now for Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, and Education Plus accounts.