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Google Calendar events now include a way to start group chats with attendees

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Another place to cram Google’s rebranded messaging service

Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

Google is adding a new button to Google Calendar events on mobile and the web that will immediately open a chat with meeting attendees. Google launched its rebranded version of Hangouts Chat to customers earlier this year and has slowly added more features to the main Gmail landing page, including its Zoom-like Google Meet video chat.

The new Chat button appears next to the attendee list in a Calendar event. Previously, Google only offered the ability to email attendees about a meeting, but since the company has closely integrated Chats and Gmail — seemingly to popularize Chats — this new addition makes sense. You can start a chat before, during, or after the meeting with attendees, and the feature will be toggled on by default.

The new Chat button appears next to Google’s original email button on calendar events.
Image: Google

It’s worth noting, though, the automatic group chats “only [apply] to participants within your organization, external attendees are not included in the chat group,” Google writes in a post. So some participants might be spared (or miss, whichever you prefer) the extra messages.

Google clearly wants you to use its messaging apps, despite what its confusing, ever-changing strategy might suggest. It might be annoying to be funneled towards Chat in yet another section of Google’s software suite, but for anyone who’s committed themselves to Google Workspace — or been forced to do so by their employer — here’s some added convenience.