Gmail really wants Spaces to be as good as Slack

Google Chat on a laptop screen
(Image credit: / monticello)

Tracking down that important message or finding the right group chat could soon be a lot easier thanks to a new Gmail update.

Google Workspace is getting a new feature that will allow users to find and join group chats, known as Spaces, through the Gmail online search function. 

In order to find a space, users simply have to type a query into the Gmail search box and hit enter. Alongside the existing search result fields for mail and messages will now be a new option displaying linked Spaces.

Gmail search 

Google adds that the results will not only include Spaces you’ve already joined, but also discoverable Spaces and restricted Spaces you’ve been invited to, but have yet to join.

Users will even be able to preview the contents of a Space before deciding to join by clicking on the “Preview” button next to each unjoined space, with a seperate “Join” button giving the opportunity to make your grand entrance.

"As the number of spaces within your organization continues to grow, we’re offering a better way for you to discover and find the exact space you're looking for, while also providing a path to join spaces for specific teams, projects, shared interests, and more," a Google Workspace update blog announcing the launch said.

The feature is rolling out now, and will be available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers, as well as those with personal Google Accounts.

The news comes shortly after Google announced Gmail searches would soon be a lot smarter thanks to new machine learning models it says should be able to provide more contextual suggestions with “intent matching,” alongside personalized results based on historical activity. 

The company also recently announced that up to 8,000 members can now be added to a Google Chat space, a huge increase from the current limit of 400, in order to "boost communication and collaboration for teams of all sizes".

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.