The most-ignored Gmail tool might not actually be as bad as we all think

Using Google Chat Spaces alongside your Gmail account may actually get to be useful fairly soon thanks to some new updates coming to the tool.

Introduced in 2021 as part of Google Workspace, the replacement for G Suite for Enterprise, Spaces is essentially group conversations for Google Chat users, bringing together groups of co-workers or friends in a single location.

However Spaces has not proved exactly popular so far due to a lack of features or flexibility – at least not until now.

Google Chat Spaces

“We're introducing several improvements for Spaces in Google Chat to help you better organize people, topics, and projects,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the changes.

Among the new additions is the ability to add “Managers” to look after specific Spaces, acting as an admin over the entire chat. Given to the creator of the Space by default but able to be changed or edited, Managers will be able to oversee the conversations, adding and removing participants if needed.

Google is also offering Managers the ability to add descriptions to Spaces in order to set context or provide information on what will be discussed. Users will also be able to create guidelines so that “safe and effective communication environments” can be created.

“We hope this feature makes it easier to share the purpose and guidelines for a particular space, making it easier for your collaborators to navigate quickly to the appropriate space,” Google added, noting that the new features are rolling out to users now.

The company sees Spaces as a de facto replacement for its little-loved Google Currents tool, which it recently revealed will be gradually shut down over the course of 2022

Starting in 2023, Currents will be found down and its services moved over to Spaces, which Google says offers much better and tighter integration with other tools such as Gmail, Meet and Google Drive.

Via 9to5Google

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Workers are actually far more obsessed with Slack than Microsoft Teams

When it comes to collaborating with colleagues, most workers are more likely to use Slack, rather than Microsoft Teams, new research has found.. 

However, when it comes to making video conferencing calls, chances are people will be using Teams instead of Slack.

A report from SaaS intelligence firm Productiv found 175,000 of its users opt for Slack, while 70,000 went for Teams as their productivity weapon of choice, although many of these users overlap, and go for both platforms when it suits them.

Slack is for chats, Teams is for video calls

So, for overall engagement over 60 days (measuring for one day, a week, a month, and two months), in which “engagement” is defined as logging in and sending a message, Slack is a clear winner, getting more than double the engagement compared to Teams.

Measuring for a day, 37% of Slack users engaged with the platform, compared to 14% of Teams users. Measuring for two months, on the other hand, has shown 83% for Slack users, and 42% for Teams users. 

Similar figures are for group messages, as 92% of engaged users in Slack used the feature over the course of 30 days, while just 11% of Teams users did the same.

When it comes to attending meetings, however, Teams excels, while Slack lags behind. Measuring for a single day, just 2% of Slack users logged in for the feature, compared to 46% of Teams users. For 30 days, it’s 12% and 62%, respectively.

Among the possible reasons for this discrepancy, Productiv believes, is the fact that Teams comes bundled with, and is integrated well, with Outlook. Microsoft has also “heavily advertised” the video conferencing feature in its Teams platform, while many Slack users might not be fully aware of their platform offering the same functionality.

Finally, it could be due to many Slack users already very used to Zoom for video conferencing, Productiv concluded. 

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