Send a direct message

You can send a direct message in Google Chat to one or more people in your business, work or school, or to someone outside of your organisation. However, you can't include external people in a group message. When you chat with someone outside of your organisation, they have a badge by their name to show that they're external.

As long as they have a Google Workspace account or a personal Google Account, you can send a message to people who use Chat or classic Hangouts. You can only chat with an external Google Workspace user if their organisation allows it.

Sometimes, when you send a direct message, the recipient might need to accept your request in order to message you back.

Start a direct message

  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 organisation, 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 organisation, even if they don't have Chat.

Start a group conversation

  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 organisation, even if they don't have Chat.

Add or remove people to create a new group conversation

In a group conversation, you can add or remove people to create a new conversation group.

  1. Sign in to Chat or Gmail.
  2. Select an existing group conversation.
  3. In Chat, at the top, next to the conversation name, click the Down arrow""and thenStart a new chat.
  4. In Gmail, click More""and thenStart a new chat.
  5. Add or remove people from the existing group:
    • To add people, enter their names.
    • To remove people, next to their name, click Remove "".
  6. Click Create.

 

Other options

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.

Chat with a bot

You can chat with a bot in a direct message.

  1. Sign in to Chat or Gmail.
  2. In Chat, next to Bots, click Start a chat "".
  3. In Gmail, next to Chat, click Start a chat ""and thenFind a bot.
  4. Next to the bot, click Addand thenMessage.

Remove a bot from a direct message

  1. Sign in to Chat or Gmail.
  2. Open the direct message to the bot.
  3. In Chat, at the top, next to the bot’s name, click the Down arrow""and thenRemove.
  4. In Gmail, click""and thenRemove.

Know when someone has read your message

In a 1:1 direct message, you'll see a small picture of the person that you're chatting with to the right of the last message that they've seen. You can't turn these read receipts on or off, and they're not visible in group messages or rooms.

View out-of-office status

Chat shows the out-of-office status that people set up in Google Calendar. You can still send the person a message, but they might not reply until they're back. If a person doesn't have permission to view your out-of-office status, Chat won't show your status. Setting up your out-of-office status in Calendar doesn't mute messages or notifications in Chat.

To show your status:

  1. Share your calendar with a person or group. See share your calendar with someone.
  2. Create an out-of-office event that spans all day or past your working hours. See Set you working hours and availability.
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