Google Hangouts vs WebEx


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Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts is a live video chat app. It allows to share your screen, collaboratively draw on a whiteboard, edit Google Docs documents, create broadcasts for the unlimited number of viewers. Splitted into group chat app and videoconferencing app. Secure Google Hangouts alternatives are Signal and Telegram.
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WebEx
Web conferencing lets you connect with anyone, anywhere, in real time. WebEx combines desktop sharing through a web browser with phone conferencing and video, so everyone sees the same thing while you talk. WebEx free alternatives are Skype, Google Hangouts. If you are looking for open-source self-hosted WebEx alternatives pay attention to Jitsi and Rocket.Chat.
Comparing Google Hangouts vs WebEx is like comparing apples to oranges. Because your business is unique and nobody except you can decide, which is better for your company. But we can add some fun to your research and suggest some new comparison parameters.

Let's start with videos. We think that WebEx has better video than Google Hangouts



Ok, now let's compare the UI. Looks like WebEx has more user-friendly interface than Google Hangouts because it's bigger. At least on our screenshots


To compare the popularity of the solutions we counted how many alternatives people search for each of them on the Internet. And it turns out that WebEx is more popular than Google Hangouts

Now let's look at the recent activities of our competitors:

- Google splits Hangouts into Chat and Meet (in 2017)
- Google acquired work chat Pie (in 2016)
- Google Hangouts now allows to make videocalls to those who don't have Google account (in 2015)
- Chat for work Pie gets $1.2M (in 2015)
- Google Hangouts is available as a standalone Chrome app for Windows and Chromebooks (in 2014)
- Google Hangouts adds voice calls to mobile app (in 2014)
- Hangouts unlinked from Google+, becomes a part of Google Apps For Business (in 2014)
- Google Hangouts will no longer require a plugin for Chrome (in 2014)
- Pie - group collaboration chat with less noise (in 2014)
- Google wants to embed its video chat in every business app (in 2014)

Looks like Google Hangouts was recently more active than WebEx (at least in our news). We also found some news, in which Google Hangouts and WebEx meet head to head:

2016 - Google acquired work chat Pie to catch up with WebEx


Google has gobbled up Pie, a Slack-like team communications service based in Singapore. Pie’s basic premise is was very much like Slack — and a host of other, better funded rivals in Asia like Eko and ChatWork — and it tried to differentiate itself by focusing on a very basic experience targeted at non-technical companies. The deal, which is an acqui-hire, has been made to boost a new Google team that will focus on developing products for Southeast Asia in the same way that Google has done in India over the past year.

2012 - Free Webex is already available to compete with Google Hangouts


As Cisco promised, its web-conferencing service WebEx is becoming free. True, the number of free conference hosts (i.e. users that can create and manage online meetings) was reduced from 3 to 1. But the free disk space was increased up to 1 GB. The free online meeting can support up to 25 people simultaneously and provide the variety of tools: screen-sharing, whiteboard, remote control, file sharing, presentations, VoIP, video in HD-format, recording. You might be surprised that the service is currently in Beta status (after all, WebEx has been the web-conferencing market leader  for many years). The fact that it's not just the free version. It's a new version of WebEx, which in addition to web-conferencing adds a workspace for collaboration before and after online meeting.

There you can not only plan meetings and invite participants, but also share files before the online meeting and discuss them with your colleagues. And after the virtual meeting you can share the meeting record as well as files created during the meeting and continue the discussion. So, despite the beta status - you can be confident in the quality of the web-conferencing tool.

You can register a free WebEx account here.

2010 - Google improves video chat quality to take on WebEx

Gmail Video Chat
It is pleasant that though GMail video chat hasn't become the second Skype and does not bring any revenue to Google, the company still continues its development. Besides, it is personally lead by Christopher Vander Mey, Senior Product Manager for Google Apps. Apparently, the company has big plans for utilizing video chat in business.   And another confirmation for this guess is the latest new feature - improved video quality (it can be turned on in GMail Labs). Now the video chat supports VGA video (640x480), and the picture looks more clear, the CPU is less loaded and internet connection may be lower. According to Vander Mey, it's all thanks to new technology of hardware-accelerated video decoding based on H.264 (and, it is not the result of the GISP acquisition but Google's own development). Note, that if you want to enable video chat in GMail, you need to install this plug-in.