Google has finally taken steps to super-charge its Hangouts app with new features, catching up with many of the messaging apps out there that have added a ton of features including stickers.

A bunch of rich emoticon-like stickers have landed on Google Hangouts for iOS in a new update rolled out today. What’s more, Google has also introduced Vine-like short video messages which you can send to your friends in place of photos, for example. You get to record videos up to 10 seconds long and send them to your friends, after which they will play in a loop automatically within your chat.

Hangouts 1 730x647 Google amps up Hangouts for iOS, adding stickers and Vine like short video messaging

The new version of Hangouts for iOS also features location sharing now, and is optimized for the iPad, thus including picture-in-picture video calling and a two-pane conversation view.

Google has already relaxed Android settings to enable users to replace the central SMS system with Hangouts, but its move to introduce new features — even on iOS — could appeal to more users.

We previously noted given the importance of messaging services in the mobile ecosystem now, considering the $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook, Google could consider super-charging its Hangouts app. This could include tighter synergies between its mobile apps and Hangouts, or the addition of games, stickers and other services that are proving popular in Asia with the likes of Line and WeChat.

➤ Google Hangouts: iOS

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