Chatting with external users

If you allow it, your Google Chat users can chat with people outside your organization. 

To use Google Chat, users outside your organization need a Google Account. They need to be a Google Workspace user, or have an account that ends with or a non-Gmail Google Account. If the external contact is a Google Workspace user, their administrator needs to turn on Google Chat for their organization. Otherwise they won’t receive an invite and won't be able to join the Chat space or reply to direct messages.

How external chat works

  • Chat respects the Chat externally setting for your organization. 
  • Depending on your edition, you can also use the External spaces setting to control whether users can create or join spaces within your organization that include external people.
  • Space members and Chat apps with the proper authorization can invite external users to a space if the setting, Allow users to create & join spaces with people outside their organization, is turned on.
  • For privacy and abuse protection, when you add an external user to a message or space, they'll be invited instead of directly added. Invited users get an email invitation and their Chat roster and "Browse spaces" screen show they were invited. Users can block and report someone if they get unwanted messages. 
  • External users can't add members, rename spaces, or add webhooks in spaces.
  • Users can't create spaces that allow external users, and have organization-wide visibility.

Known limitations

  • Users in Google Workspace organizations that haven't turned on Chat aren't reachable through Chat. Users can message any external users in organizations that have Chat turned on.
  • You must decide whether a space is external when you create the space. You can't change this setting later. 
  • You can't add an external user to a group message in Chat. You can only chat externally with a 1:1 direct message or in a space that allows external members. 

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