Google just launched its answer to the Facebook and Snapchat messaging threat

Google just introduced a new group messaging app called Spaces that bakes in elements of Search, YouTube, and Chrome.

The idea is that groups of friends will be able to create a chat around a particular topic — like a weekend trip or comic books — and then easily add links and information without having to constantly jump between different apps, copying and pasting info.

For example, you could quickly share a relevant article:

Or add an image:

And Google says that articles, videos, comments and images posted earlier in a thread are also all easily searchable:

Users can invite their friends to their chat with a simple invite link.

Up until this point, Google has struggled to create a super popular messaging app while competitors like Facebook Messenger and Snapchat have taken over. But commenters on the company’s announcement are sceptical that Spaces will be the right fix.

Several people on the thread questioned why Google didn’t just build Spaces’ functionality into its existing chat app, Hangouts.

“Yet another group sharing tools from Google,” Andreas Proschofsky writes. “Don’t get me wrong: This might turn out to be absolutely fabulous but Google’s portfolio gets more and more confusing by the day. Hangouts? Messenger? The new Youtube Messaging? Spaces? Google+?”

People also wondered whether Google would allow any integration with its digital assistant, Google Now, or if it would hop on the messaging app trend of allowing artificial intelligence-powered chatbots, like Facebook, Slack, and Microsoft have.

The app rolls out for Android and iOS today, as well as on deskiop, and Google promises that it has “a few surprises” for Spaces that it plans to unveil at its developers’ conference, IO, later this week.

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