Following the end of Google Hangouts for Workspace users in February, Google is now starting the migration of free, individual Hangouts users to Chat. Google said those who are still using the Hangouts mobile app will receive a prompt to switch to Chat in a blog post.
Users of Hangouts in Gmail on the web will not be prompted to switch to Chat until July, according to Google. Google states that it will notify customers “at least one month” in advance before it starts redirecting the Hangouts site to Chat. Hangouts will still be accessible on its desktop site until November.
Confusionally, Google Chat and GChat (or Google Talk), which Google permanently stopped supporting earlier this month, are not the same thing. (Hangouts was supposed to replace GChat initially, but here we are.) In 2018, the firm made its intentions to move customers from Hangouts to Chat more apparent. In 2020, the service became available to all users without charge.
Google ought to move all of your current Hangouts discussions to Chat automatically if you still use that service. Before Hangouts is formally retired in November, the firm also gives you the chance to download a copy of your data using its Takeout service.
Google says it’s rolling out a few new features, such as the ability to place direct calls, create in-line threads in Spaces (the rebranded version of Rooms), share and see multiple photos, to attract people to move to Chat.