Google today announced that developers can use Dialogflow to make automated bots for Hangouts Chat, Google’s Slack-like tool for G Suite customers. Dialogflow and its prebuilt natural language understanding engine can make conversational actions for Google Assistant and power bots for Slack, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and other platforms. Google’s G Suite is currently used by more than 5 million businesses.
Hangouts Chat made its debut for G Suite in February 2018. At launch, custom bots could be created for connecting third-party apps to do things like search and workflow management or integrate SaaS offerings from companies like Salesforce.
Developers and businesses can quickly make their Dialogflow bots accessible in Hangouts Chat by going to the Integrations page and enabling Hangouts Chat support. The bot can then be installed on your account for tests in Hangouts Chat.
Google also plans to make a bot store accessible directly inside the Hangouts Chat app to help people discover and install new automated agents or bots with screenshots and detailed descriptions supplied by third-party developers.
G Suite users can also now utilize Hubot, an open source automated bot from GitHub, by using the Hangouts Chat Hubot Adapter. Created by GitHub, Hubot started as a coding assistant and can now do things like translate language, post images, and many other tasks included in the bot’s base of open source script commands. The adapter supports HTTP and Cloud Pub/Sub bot endpoints.
Dialogflow bots for Hangouts Chat is the latest upgrade for Hangouts Chat. Smart replies for Hangouts Chat were introduced in December 2018, while live captions for Hangouts Chat videoconferences and a Gmail integration launched in April at the Cloud Next conference.
Hangout Chats is part of Google’s suite of chat apps that have seen significant change in the past year. Support for the Hangouts chat app on G Suite got nixed in October 2018, while the Allo chat app was shut down in March.