Get started with Google Chat

2. Create direct messages and rooms

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Chat

In Chat, you can send a direct message to individuals or groups. Direct messages are private conversations between you and other people. Once you create a direct message, you can't add people, so the conversation remains private.
 

2.1 Send a direct message

You can send a direct message in Chat to one or more people in your business, work, or school or to someone outside of your organization. However, you can't include external people in a group message. (To chat with external guests in a group, create a room).

Send a direct message to a person

  1. Sign in to Chat or Gmail.
  2. Under Chat, click a name, enter a message, and click Send "".
  3. If the name isn’t under Chat, click Find people, rooms, bots or click Start a chat "".
  4. Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text.
    To send a direct message to someone outside of your organization, enter their full email address.
  5. Select the person that you want to message.
  6. Enter a message and click Send "".
    Suggestions include everyone in your organization, even if they don't have Chat.

Send a direct message to a group

  1. Sign in to Chat or Gmail.
  2. Under Chat, click a group name, enter a message, and click Send "".
  3. If the group name isn’t under Chat:
    • In Chat, click Find people, rooms, botsand thenStart group conversation.
    • In Gmail, under Chat, click Start a chat""and thenStart group conversation.
  4. Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text. 
  5. Click Message or Done "".
  6. Enter a message and click Send "".
    Suggestions include everyone in your organization, even if they don't have Chat.

Note: To hide a direct message to a group, click More ""and thenHide conversation Remove.

Message someone directly

2.2 Edit conversations

You can edit text in your conversation or add an emoji.

You can add these options to your message:

  • Click  and enter a name to add a person to the conversation.
  • Click Upload "" to share files from your device. Everyone in a room can view shared files.
  • Click Add a Drive file "" to share files from Google Drive. Everyone in a room can view shared Drive files.
  • Click Add video meeting "" to start a video call.
  • Click Emoji "" to add emojis to your message.
2.3 Create a room

With Chat, you can meet and brainstorm ideas with your team in rooms. Chat with your co-workers, share files and other online resources, and work together on team projects.

You can chat in a room with people outside your organization if they have a G Suite or personal Google (Gmail) Account. Guests from outside your organization are labelled as external, and the room must be designated as external when you create it. If you created a room for people within your organization only, you won't be able to add external guests later. 

Conversations are organized into different conversation threads in rooms, so you and your team can discuss multiple subjects at the same time.

  1. Sign in to Chat or Gmail.
  2. Next to Rooms, click Create""and thenCreate room.
  3. Enter a room name.
  4. (Optional) To add a room avatar, click Choose an emoji""and thenselect an emoji. If you don't select an emoji, a default avatar is used instead.
  5. Enter the names or email addresses of the people and groups that you want to add or select from the suggestions. Suggestions include everyone in your organization, even if they don't have Chat.
  6. (Optional) To allow people from outside your organization to join the room, check the Allow people outside your organization to join box.

    Important: You won't be able to change this setting later.

  7. (Optional) To notify invitees, check the Notify people via email box.
  8. Click Create.
  9. (Optional) To add more people and bots to the room, click Add people & bots, enter the name, and then click Send.
2.4 Add or remove people in a room

You can add people to a room in 2 ways:

  • Invite people to a room—Invite people to join a room by email.
  • Mention someone in a conversation—Enter @johns to automatically add them to the room.

If you @mention someone in a conversation, for example, @cassy, they're immediately added to the room. They can join the discussion, view the room in their room list, and receive notifications for the room.

Invite people to a room

  1. Sign in to Chat or Gmail.
  2. On the left, next to the person's name or group, click More ""and thenHide conversation "".

See members of a room

  1. Sign in to Chat or Gmail.
  2. On the left, select the room.
  3. At the top, click the room nameand thenView members.
  4. (Optional) To add more members to the room, click Add "".
2.5 Join or leave a room

Individuals are added to rooms automatically, whereas groups have the option to join a room. You can add up to 8,000 people to a room. Both individuals and group members can leave a room.

Note: You can't delete a room, but you can leave it. If you leave a room, your content stays unless you delete it. Once you leave, you won't get any notifications from the room.

Join a room from Chat

  1. Open Chat.
  2. At the top left, click Find people, rooms, bots.
  3. Click Browse rooms.

    The rooms that you're directly invited to appear at the top of the list. Enter a room name to quickly find a room.

  4. (Optional) To preview a room, point to the room name and click Preview.
    When you preview a room, you can read messages, but you can't participate in the conversation or get notifications.
  5. Click Add "" or Join in the preview to join the room.
  6. Click Open to open the room.

Join a room from Gmail

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Next to Rooms, click Add ""and thenBrowse rooms.
  3. The rooms that you're invited to appear at the top of the list. Enter a room name to quickly find a room. 

  4. (Optional) To preview a room, point to the room name and click Preview.
    When you preview a room, you can read messages, but you can't participate in the conversation or get notifications. 
  5. Click Add "" or Join in the preview to join the room.
  6. Click Open to open the room.

Leave a room

  1. Sign in to Chat or Gmail.
  2. Next to a room name, click More""and then Leave.
  3. Click Leave room.

Rejoin a room

  1. Open Chat
  2. At the top left, click Find people, rooms, bots.
  3. Click Browse rooms.
  4. Next to the room name, click Add "".
 
2.6 Start multiple conversations in a room

If you’re collaborating on a large project with your team, you might need to chat about different topics. Having multiple ongoing conversations helps everyone share information and ideas faster.

Start a different conversation in a room:

  1. Sign in to Chat or Gmail.
  2. Under Rooms, select a room.
  3. At the bottom, click New thread in room name.
  4. Enter the message and click Send "".

Discuss different topics and converse with different people

Send a direct message to someone in a room:

  1. Sign in to Chat or Gmail.
  2. On the left, under Rooms, click a room to open it.
  3. At the top, click the room nameand thenView members.
  4. Point to the person's name and click More""and thenMessage.
  5. Enter your message and then click Send "".
 
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