Google Hangouts vs Viber

Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts is a live video chat app. It allows to share your screen, collaboratively draw on a whiteboard, edit Google Docs documents, create broadcasts for the unlimited number of viewers. Splitted into group chat app and videoconferencing app
Viber is a mobile app that provides free international calls and text messages to other Viber users using 3G or Wi-Fi. Uses your existing contact list - check out which of your phone contacts and friends is already on Viber so that you can call and text them for free.

Latest news about Google Hangouts and Viber:

23.07.17. Viber acquired shopping keyboard startup Chatter Commerce. Messaging app Viber earlier this year made its first foray into shopping services with Instant Shopping, a feature that lets you search for items for sale via a keyboard when you have the messaging app open. Today, the company has acquired Chatter Commerce, the startup that helped build that feature. That's how Viber wants to catch up with alternatives. According to rumors, Amazon is building a consumer-focused messaging app. With Facebook also adding in more transactional features into Messenger — part of a huge expansion that has taken it beyond basic chat and into bots and other services — there is a clear trend among messaging apps to leverage engagement they already have with their users to drive their business in other ways.

16.03.17. Viber introduced secret chats with self-destructing messages. Viber for iOS and Android got an update today that brings “Secret Chats” to the service for the first time. Like Snapchat, Facebook, Telegram and many others before it, Viber now enables its users to set a timer for their messages, after which they will self-destruct. The new feature also alerts a user if the person to whom they are talking takes a screenshot — that’s another feature that Snapchat pioneered. Viber appears to be pushing its security credentials in a bit to differentiate itself from the rest. It added end-to-end encryption and hidden chats last year.

10.03.17. Google splits Hangouts into Chat and Meet. Google is making massive changes to Hangouts to make it more business-friendly. The service will be splitted into two separate apps: Hangouts Meet, a videoconferencing app, and Hangouts Chat, a Slack-like messaging app designed for teams.  Meet is a revamped version of Hangouts' video calling features, with a few new additions designed for businesses. Like the old Hangouts, it supports video calls of up to 30 people and participants can join via their desktop or the mobile app. While anyone with a Gmail account can use Meet, Hangouts Chat is just for Google's enterprise users. Essentially a full-on Slack competitor, the service allows teams within organizations to chat and supports a variety of third-party integrations, including bots and other productivity apps. Google also created its own bot for the app, which will schedule meetings on your behalf.

23.02.17. Viber adds e-commerce feature. Messaging app Viber (owned by e-commerce company Rakuten) wants to monetize on e-commerce without turning to stupid advertising. Viber will start to present users with items for sale, inspired by your current chat, when you press a small shopping bag icon at the bottom of the screen and search for items.  The feature is due to go live in the U.S. first, on March 6, before Viber looks to roll it out to other markets. Initially the shopping feature will not be letting users make purchases directly on Viber itself — they will either be redirected to the relevant page in a brand’s app via a deeplink.

10.11.16. Viber launched Public Accounts for businesses. Messaging app Viber is launching Public Accounts for businesses and brands who want to communicate with Viber users for marketing, customer service - or a bit of both, without a user needing to add that account as a contact first. Instead they can justsubscribe to them. Besides, by the end of November, Viber’s API will be integrated with between 10 and 15 popular CRM packages for customer service integration. Businesses can then send and read their Viber messages alongside all of their other social media, email and messaging interactions. Public Accounts puts Viber among several other consumer-focused messaging apps that already  have similar feature: WeChat, Line and Facebook Messenger.

19.04.16. Viber adds end-to-end encryption and hidden chats. Following WhatsApp, another popular messaging app Viber is introducing end-to-end encryption for all messages and calls on its platform, including group chats (you can chat with up to 200 people), and a way to ‘hide’ chats on your account alongside its existing expanded deleting function. The new privacy features will work across Android, iOS, PCs and Mac desktops, with the encryption coming with the latest app update (6.0) and a reauthentication of the app (via QR Code) to turn the feature on. Viber’s encryption will come with varying levels of security, which will show up in the form of a color-coded lock on the right side of the screen.

24.11.15. Google Hangouts now allows to make videocalls to those who don't have Google account. Google now allows you to invite “guests” into a Hangouts meeting, even if they don’t have (or don’t want) a Google account. This will make it easier for you to do all your communications, at least on the video conference aspect, through this particular medium. The process has also been made simple and painless (or so we hope). All it would take is for you to invite the guests, and for them to accept through a few taps or so. They will be labeled as “external guests” and Google users will be able to invite them to a Hangouts through Google Calendar. They need to click the external link in the event description, then input their name, preferably not a silly nickname as this is supposed to be a professional conference. After doing those two simple steps, they will now be able to be part of the meeting and chat with you and your other colleagues for the duration of the virtual meeting.

20.11.14. Viber adds public chats. Messaging app Viber is launching a new social feature - Public Chats, giving users a way of using its direct messaging and voice services to broadcast to the world at large.  Public Chats will see the introduction of live conversation streams — from celebrities, or other interesting people, that will be open for any follower to see, but not necessarily participate in. Users will only be able to jump in and talk in Public Chats if the account in question is in their contacts.  Right now, there is no option for everyone to enable their streams to become part of the public mix but those who feel their chats are Public Chat-worthy can email

13.10.14. Google Hangouts is available as a standalone Chrome app for Windows and Chromebooks. Google Hangouts users can now chat and make calls from their desktops without opening their browser. Google Hangouts is now a Chrome app for Windows and Chrome OS computers. It can be installed on Mac OS X computers that also have Chrome but isn’t yet fully supported. The app provides all of your active chats on the desktop for easy access. More important though is the support for voice calls through the app, right on your computer. And Google Voice users will benefit from the Voice integration with Hangouts, meaning access to voicemail and the ability to send and receive SMS.

11.09.14. Google Hangouts adds voice calls to mobile app. Google continues to unify its messaging services under one app by adding free voice calling and a number of other Google Voice features to Hangouts. Android users can make free voice calls as soon as they update to the newest version of Hangouts, while web and iOS users will have access to free calls immediately. Hangouts users are also getting access to some Google Voice features: Calls made from within the Hangouts client now feature a user’s Google Voice phone number as caller ID, and calls to that number automatically are being answered through the Hangouts app. Users will also be able to send SMS text messages through Hangouts, and Google Voice voicemail messages will start to show up in Hangouts conversational streams.

31.07.14. Hangouts unlinked from Google+, becomes a part of Google Apps For Business. Until now, you had to have a Google+ account to use Hangouts if you were a Google Apps user. Starting today, that requirement is gone. Anybody with a Google Apps account will now be able to start or join a meeting from their desktop or their dedicated Chromebox for Meetings device. Hangouts is also now coming to Google Apps for Business. While users on Google’s paid accounts could always use Hangouts (assuming their admins allowed it), this change means that Hangouts is now covered by the same SLAs as the rest of Google’s services like Gmail and Drive.  Lastly, IT administrators can better manage meetings right from the Google Apps Admin Console with options like remotely starting, muting and ending a meeting.

01.07.14. Google Hangouts will no longer require a plugin for Chrome. Starting next week video conferencing service Google Hangouts will work in Chrome without the need to install any plugin. Other Hangout-compatible browsers (IE/Firefox/etc.) will still need the plugin — but Chrome will now have Hangouts support baked right in. Between the transition to HTML5, new cross-browser protocols like webRTC, and even platforms like Unity trying to go plugin free, it’s going to be really, really hard to convince users to install plugins moving forward — so if your big idea requires one, you’ll want to find another way.

09.06.14. Google wants to embed its video chat in every business app. Google is being serious about pushing its video chat service Google+ Hangouts into enterprise sphere. In February this year it released the video conferencing system for meeting rooms based on Chromebox, then integrated Hangouts with leading video conferencing systems Polycom and Cisco and recently released the video chat plugin for Outlook. Now Google offers all developers of business apps to embed Hangout button into their products (this button allows to instantly launch video call). And many of them already accepted this proposal. For example, Hangout button video is already available in Salesforce CRM, customer support app Zendesk, project management system Smartsheet, enterprise social network Zoho Connect, recruiting software Zoho Recruit, etc.

20.05.14. Google created Hangouts video chat plug-in for Outlook. Some Google Apps users instead of native email solution - GMail are using desktop version of MS Outlook. And so far they didn't have the ability to chat and make video calls (like GMail users). Of course, there is an integration of Outlook and Microsoft Lync, but companies that are using Google Apps hardly deploy Microsoft Lync. So Google decided to fix this problem and released Google Hangouts plugin for MS Outlook. It allows to easily make video calls to Outlook contacts, organize group videoconefernce calls with up to 10 people and schedule video meetings in Outlook's Calendar. Recall recently Microsoft rolled out Skype integration for, but it works only with the online version of Outlook.

17.02.14. Japanese internet giant acquires Viber. Japanese company Rakuten acquires perhaps, the main Skype's rival right now - Viber for $900 million. And of course it remind of the recent fring acquisition by American company Genband, after which fring was transformed to white-label communnication platform for telecom providers. However, in this case don't worry about Viber. Rakuten isn't going to close it or trandform for it's specific business. They will just invest money in Viber hoping to win Skype and somehow return their investments (for example, by selling ViberOut voice call minutes). Ratuken is running diversified business by investing into internet startups. For example, they own the ebook platform Kobo, co-own Pinterest, and some other online projects. Recall, Viber - is a cross-platform instant messenger that supports free voice and video calling. At the moment, this service is used by about 300 million people.

13.02.14. Google Hangouts now can connect to Polycom, Cisco and other videoconferencing systems. Recently we reported that Google unveiled video conferencing system for meeting rooms Chromebox for Meetings. But the adventures of Google in this area haven't ended with this news. It turns out that Vidyo (the maker of enterprise video communication systems) provides backend for Google Hangouts. And this company added to this backend a new service VidyoH2O, which allows Google Hangouts users to participate in videomeetings with corporate videoconferencing systems - Polycom, Cisco, Avaya, Lifesize and others (supporting H.323/SIP standards). So, there is a great potential for establishing intercompany video meetings. However, this service is not free - it costs from $99/month per concurrent user.

10.02.14. Google unveiled video conferencing system for meeting rooms. Enterprise video conferencing systems (like Polycom, Tandberg ...) cost tens and hundreds thousands of dollars, and their installation and maintenance - is a difficult task. On the other hand videochat services (like Skype, GoToMeeting ...) can't provide the effect of presence that will let business users to completely abandon trips. Therefore, gasoline and airline tickets are still among the the main expenditures in many companies. Google decided to fight this evil and launched the professional video conferencing system based on Google Hangouts - Chromebox for Meetings. It costs just $999 + $250/year (the subscription fee is paid starting from the second year). As you can understand from the title, the system is based on the Chromebox - Google's desktop computer running Chrome OS. In addition, it includes Logitech HD camera, microphone, remote control and any LCD TV.

2013. Viber now can call landline and mobile phones. Until now Microsoft wasn't touching Skype and most people continue to use it. But if MS take just one mistake step - there is a crowd of services that want to replace Skype as a defacto-standard of Internet communications. And the first in this crowd is Viber. This service gained considerable popularity (over 200 million users) thanks to mobile-first strategy and simple authorization via mobile number. And at the moment Viber and Skype are virtually identical in their features. Recently Viber eliminated, perhaps, the last gap - added the ability to call landline and mobile phones at cheap rates. Rates (as expected) - are slightly lower than Skype. For example, 2.5 cents to Indian landlines (4.5 cents to mobile phones), 2.3 cents to Mexico (9.9 cents to mobile), 2.3 cents to all China numbers and 1.9 cents to the U.K. (5.9 cents to mobile). This new feature works on Android, iPhone and Viber dektop (PC and Mac).

2013. Voice calling is back in Google Hangouts. As you know, in result of the epic merger of Google communication services (GMail Chat, Google Talk and Google Hangouts) only Google Hangouts remained, but it had no voice feature (only chat and video chat). So, the ability to make VoIP-calls also disappeared from GMail and it was unpleasant surprise for many users. That's why Google (after just 2 months) is adding voice to Hangouts. Now you can call over the Internet from GMail, Google+ and Hangouts app for Chrome. You can make PC2PC or PC2Phone call. You can also connect participants to Hangouts conference via VoIP call. But to make sure that we won't die of happiness, Google is not adding voice to the Hangouts mobile apps (for iOS and Android). So, for while you can only call from the desktop.

2013. Google unites GTalk and Hangouts. Google engineers have so much work to do (mostly for Google Glass), that they simply don't have time to fix other (useful) products. For several years we have been waiting when Google finally unites its separated communication services in order to create competitive Skype alternative. And finally, they spent few weeks and implemented the half of this task. Google Talk messenger is now replaced by Google Hangouts videochat. Google has released two Hangouts mobile apps: for Android and iOS. In addition, Hangouts is available in GMail and Google+. All your Hangouts chat apps are synchronized, so you can start conversation on your computer (in GMail) and continue it out of the office on your phone. In chat you can insert pictures and videos from Youtube. Video chat supports up to 10 people simultaneously.