In a new design and functionality strategy, Google Hangouts is attempting to be more like Slack. The group messaging platform expansion is the newest in Slack competitors (as Microsoft also recently announces a Slack style platform to interface with their suite of business applications).
However, this move seems to bring a much needed revamp to the Hangouts application, with channel options and powerful tie ins to their Google Docs, Sheets, and G Suite of apps. I see this move being powerful for smaller, more cost efficient teams that are looking to add much needed structure to a group of apps that they already use. Typical Slack style functionality will also accompany better video chat capabilities and channeled rooms. It will be interesting to see the direction that Hangouts goes in the future, and if its focus remains consumer, or tilts more to enterprise and business use.