Learn when to use and organise a space

To communicate with a group of people or an organisation about a topic, project or shared interest, use a space. For example, you can create a space to discuss dogs or F1 racing.

With spaces, you can:

  • Keep conversations with people in one place 
  • Organise groups around shared files, tasks and schedules
  • Keep dedicated spaces for different conversations

Organise a space

Important: You can no longer create a space grouped by conversation topic. Instead, new spaces have in-line threading.

There are two types of spaces: spaces with in-line threading and spaces organised by conversation topic.

In a space with in-line threading, you can either send a message to the entire group in the main conversation window or reply to a single message. If you use in-line threading to reply to a single message, your message branches into a separate conversation. In-line threads can be helpful when you want to reply to a specific message but the topic of the main conversation changed or you want to have a side conversation that doesn't disrupt the flow of the main conversation.

Tip: Not all messages need to be part of an in-line thread.


In a space organised by the conversation topic, messages and replies are grouped together for everyone to view.  All messages and replies must be a part of a topic and are shown directly in the main conversation window. When you reply to a previous topic, the entire topic moves to the bottom. 


You can find some benefits and limitations of each kind of space organisation below.

Type of space

Benefits Limitations

Organised by in-line threading

Tip: This is the default type of space.

  • Easy to scan and understand what's discussed in the space.
  • Fewer distractions to help you focus on topics that you care about.
  • Easy to browse topics because they're all in one place in the thread navigation panel.
  • Thread replies don't interrupt the main conversation.
  • You can toggle history on and off.
Organised by conversation topic
  • All replies are displayed in the main conversation. This allows you to see every message without additional clicks.
  • Topics move to the bottom when there's an update so it's easy to see when there's a new reply to a topic. 
  • It may be hard to scan the space to know what's discussed.
  • Hard to have side conversations.
  • History can't be turned off.
  • Can't see all topics easily.
  • A reply to an earlier topic may interrupt the current discussion topic.

For personal email accounts, Message history is on by default. If you have a Workspace account, the administrator sets the default message history. 

These steps apply only to spaces with in-line threading. 

Create a new space with in-line threading

  1. Go to Google Chat or Gmail.
  2. Under 'Spaces', click Create or find a space .
    • If you're using Chat in Gmail, click New space.
  3. Click Create a space.
  4. Enter a name for the space.
    • To add a space avatar, click Choose an emoji "" and then select an emoji. If you don't select an emoji, a default letter avatar is used instead.
    • Enter an optional description for the space.
  5. You can also:
    • Enter the name or email of the people who you want to add.
    • Enter apps or Google Groups that you want to invite.
    • Pick from the list of suggested contacts.
  6. Choose an access level for your organisation:
    • Restricted: Only directly added and invited users have access to the space. To make your space discoverable, select 'All of your organisation'.
    • All of your organisation: All members in your organisation have access to the space and can join if they have the space's link. Learn more about creating a discoverable space.
      • Important: If you have a work or school account with Google, you may have additional target audience options created by your administrator. If you have questions about the audience options available, contact your administrator.
  7. To invite external people into the space, tick Allow people outside of your organisation to join.
    • Important: If you select 'All of your organisation' in step 6, you won't be able to allow people outside of your organisation to join the space.
  8. Click Create.

Reply in a thread

  1. Go to Google Chat or Gmail.
  2. Click Spaces Rooms and then select a space.
  3. To reply, hover over the message and on the right click Reply in thread Gmail Chat.
    • Tip: If a thread already has replies, you can click the message to open the thread panel.
  4. In the thread panel to the right of the space, enter your message in the message window at the bottom.
  5. Click Send Send.

Follow a thread

You automatically follow threads you start, reply to or are @mentioned in. To follow or unfollow threads: 

  1. In the space, click on the Replies Gmail Chat to the thread that you want to follow or unfollow.
  2. On the right side of the space, the thread panel opens.
  3. At the top left of the thread panel, select an option:
    • To follow a thread, click Follow. 
    • To unfollow a thread, click Following.  

Interact with the thread navigation panel  

How to see the activity within a space:

  1. To open the thread navigation panel, go to the upper right side of the space and click Active threads Gmail Chat.
  2. With the thread navigation panel open, you can view:
    • The latest threads with new replies
    • Number of replies for each thread
    • Your following status for each thread

Threads are ordered by most recent activity in the thread navigation panel. To filter threads and the related replies:

On the upper left side of the thread navigation panel, select an option:

  • To filter threads where you're directly mentioned in a message, click 'Mentions me'.
  • To filter threads that you started, replied to, were directly @mentioned in or selected to follow, click 'Following'.
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