MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 30 (UPI) -- Google announced Wednesday they will include Hangouts to its suite of business apps, with users requiring a login for Google Apps and not a Google+ account.
The search giant will take the video chat feature from its social network, Google+, and provide it to enterprise clients, who can use it even if they don't have a Google+ account, a prerequisite for using the feature before Wednesday's announcement.
"Google Apps customers have been taking advantage of both Google+ and Hangouts for long enough that we recognize the separate use cases for both," a Google spokesperson told TechCrunch.
By moving the feature to Google Apps for Business, Hangouts will now come with 24-hour phone support and a guaranteed uptime of 99.9 percent, similar to Gmail and Google Drive.
The announcement also included a new partnership with Blue Jeans, a cloud-based video conferencing service, that will enable users using traditional phone lines or SIP-based video conferencing services, like Cisco or Polycom, to join a Google Hangout, increasing interconnectivity of the service.
Chromebox, Google's Chrome OS-based meeting device, will be updated to include two screens, one for Hangouts and the other for a presentation slide. Chromebox for meetings will be expanded to clients in the U.K. and Japan, as well as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.