Using the power of Hangout, Google is apparently working on a new feature that will allow you to begin a live chat with businesses right from your search results. While this will obviously only work with the handful of business that actually decide to maintain an Internet hotline, it seems like a very interesting feature that could prove useful in a variety of situations.
Google is testing out a service that incorporates live chat with businesses right into search results, via a new link that shows whether a business is currently available, and immediately launches a chat via Google Hangouts (on either desktop or mobile) if they are. The service resembles Path Talk’s direct messaging platform with local businesses, but incorporates its service right into the business listing search result card it shows on Google.com, which also shows you details including price level, address, map location, phone number, opening hours, ratings and reviews. We’ve confirmed via a Google spokesperson that this is indeed an experimental feature the company is testing, which was originally spotted by Matt Gibstein who shared screens on Twitter earlier today.