Google Chat

How to Connect Google Chat and Slack in 2024

Explore the differences between Google Chat and Slack, migration steps, configuring webhooks, custom integrations, and using existing Slack to Google Workspace integrations.

Does your organization use multiple collaboration platforms? 

With 90% of enterprises using 2+ chat apps, the answer is likely to be yes. 

If you use both Google Chat and Slack, you may be dealing with fractured communication, work silos, and lengthy project timelines. 

Rather than choosing between the two, why not connect them? 

In this article, we dive into all the ways to connect Google Chat and Slack, beginning with some background into these two leading collaboration platforms. 

Table of Contents:

  1. Google Chat vs. Slack
  2. How do I migrate from Slack to Google Chat?
  3. Configuring webhooks for Google Chat and Slack
  4. Build a custom integration 
  5. Google Workspace integration for Slack
  6. How to connect Google Chat and Slack 

What are the differences between Google Chat and Slack? 

At a high level, both Google Chat and Slack offer similar functionalities like direct messaging, group chats, file sharing, and integrations with other apps. 

Slack is praised for its user-friendly interface and threaded messages.

Google Chat benefits from seamless integration with Google Workspace. 

Google Calendar in Google Chat

Slack utilizes Slack Huddles as a built-in calling feature, while Google Chat includes native video meeting capabilities through Google Meet. While both are video conferencing features, their use cases vary greatly. Slack Huddles are best suited to short, spontaneous conversations, while Google Meet provides a structured environment for meetings. 

Another big difference is in the stored history of each chat app. Slack’s free tier only stores up to 10,000 of an organization’s most recent messages. In contrast, Google Chat saves an enterprise’s entire chat history within their free account tier. 

Pricing varies, with Google Chat being cheaper when bundled with Google Workspace, and offering more storage. 

Both platforms have strong security and compliance measures. The choice between them often depends on existing tools and specific organizational needs. 

For a more in-depth analysis of Google Chat vs. Slack, click here

How do I migrate from Slack to Google Chat? 

If you're exploring ways to connect Google Chat and Slack, you might have considered migrating from one platform to the other.

After all, consolidating all users onto a single platform seems like the easiest solution, right? 

Unfortunately, migrations can be a huge drain on time, energy, and resources. The learning curve of adopting a new platform has immediate effects on productivity. Additionally, the cost restructuring exercise of a major platform migration may dissuade some organizations entirely. 

Before migrating from Slack to Google Chat, it’s crucial to assess if this is actually necessary.

If you’re determined to migrate, follow these steps: 

Migrating from Slack to Google Chat

You can utilize Google Chat APIs to transfer message data from Slack to Google Chat.

This involves placing messages into import mode spaces, which become standard Chat spaces upon completion.

Note that these spaces will be deleted if the process is not finalized within 30 days.

About Import Mode Spaces:

  • Historical timestamps are preserved.
  • Users cannot access import mode spaces during the import, and they receive no alerts.
  • Data loss prevention rules are not enforced during the import process.
  • Imported data is treated as temporary and cannot interact with archival features until fully imported.
  • Import mode spaces must complete the import within 30 days or face automatic deletion.

Steps for Importing Data

Step 1: Enable Chat for Your Organization

  • Ensure that Chat is activated in the Google Admin console for your top-level organizational unit.

Step 2: Enable Chat History for Users

  • Activate chat history to avoid setting conflicts.

Step 3: Verify Message Retention Settings

  • Match Google Vault settings with the retention settings of the previous service.

User Preparation and App Configuration

Step 4: Create User Accounts

  • Set up Google Workspace accounts for all users before migrating data.
  • Ensure licenses are assigned to active user accounts for migration.

Step 5: Grant Import Access to Apps

  • Provide domain-wide delegation to the app’s service account for all Chat apps.
  • Use the OAuth scope: https://www.googleapis.com/auth/chat.import

Step 6: Prepare Users for Transition

  • Inform users about the upcoming migration and assist them in getting started with Chat.
  • Direct users to the Google Workspace Learning Center for additional support.

For more information, refer to this Google Help article.

Configure webhooks for Slack & Google Chat

Using Slack webhooks allows you to configure outcomes for different scenarios between Slack and Google Chat. 

If you’re the Slack admin or are familiar with Slack APIs, the documentation available can guide you through simple setups.

Pros:

  • Webhooks are a low-cost solution to a complex enterprise issue.
  • Webhooks take little time to configure per scenario. If the issue exists in a single channel, webhooks are a good solution to a large-scale problem.

Cons:

  • Configuring multiple scenarios takes a significant amount of time and manual effort. When you are dealing with multiple channels in an enterprise scenario, webhooks are simply not scalable.
  • Webhooks tend to form as a bot as opposed to displaying natively. This results in end users having to learn new behaviors in order to message across platforms. 
  • In a large organization, remembering who uses what platform becomes impossible to track.
  • In April 2020, it was discovered some Slack webhooks had been exposed as potential phishing hooks.

Researchers said there are nearly 131,000 Slack webhook URLs available on the Internet.

Building a Custom Integration

If migration isn’t ideal, building a custom integration between Google Chat and Slack might be the solution. Here’s a basic guide:

  1. Use App Builders: Platforms like Zapier or Automate.io offer user-friendly, no-code solutions to connect Google Chat and Slack.
  2. API Integration: For more advanced needs, you can develop custom APIs to facilitate seamless messaging between the platforms.

But what if you don’t have enough time to build a custom integration? 

No worries – we’ve done all of the heavy lifting for you. Jump to this section to learn how. 

Can Google Workspace integrate with Slack? 

Google apps in Slack

Yes, Google Workspace can integrate with Slack.

Slack is able to integrate with Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar. 

Every second counts when you’re bouncing from meeting to meeting. The Google Calendar app allows you to receive and respond to meeting invites from Slack, and to join Google Meet calls directly from Slack. Note that you will be taken to your Google Meet account when joining a call. 

Ever forgotten to grant access to a colleague and received a “Could I get access to the file?” message a second later? You’ll definitely want to utilize the Google Drive integration, which allows you to share and grant access to Google Drive files within Slack. You can also respond to comments and create new files. 

Sometimes coming up with the perfect email response is a team effort. Gmail integration allows you to forward emails into Slack, add attachments or notes, and coordinate email responses with teammates. 

As you can see, plenty of integrations already exist that allow you to connect Google Workspace to Slack. But, you’ll notice that Google Chat is noticeably absent. 

As of right now, Slack does not have an in-built app to relay messages between Google Chat and Slack. But that doesn’t mean that native cross-platform messaging is impossible.

How to connect Google Chat and Slack 

The moment has finally arrived – how can you connect chat messages between Google Chat and Slack? 

Mio is the only native solution to connect Google Chat and Slack for native, bi-directional chat interoperability.

With support for cross-platform direct, channel/space, and group messaging, Mio federates platform APIs to ensure that your users can stay connected – no matter where they chat from. 

And, it’s not another app for users to download. After all, toggling to another app is the opposite of the desired outcome.

Instead, users remain on their platform of choice, enjoying features such as:

  • Editing and deleting messages
  • Threaded replies
  • GIFs
  • Emojis and reactions
  • File sharing
  • @ - mentions

Interested in learning more? Head to Mio’s website to learn about how you can connect Google Chat and Slack today. 

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