Google Chat will completely replace classic Hangouts for Workspace users beginning in March

If you use Google Workspace, the original Hangouts messaging service will begin to expire next month as part of the Google Chat shift. Starting March 22nd, Google will make Google Chat the default chat application, meaning that users who try to visit Hangouts in Gmail on the web or use the old Hangouts mobile apps will be diverted to Chat.

The transition from Google Hangouts to Google Chat is the latest stage in Google’s ever-evolving communications strategy, becoming increasingly perplexing the more you learn about it. This migration began in June 2020 and is focused on the messaging service linked with Gmail. Google Chat is not to be confused with GChat, the unofficial name for Google Talk, discontinued in 2017 and replaced with — you guessed it — Hangouts.

Except in “a few unusual circumstances,” Google claims, existing Hangouts conversation history will move over to Chat. Although there is no way to opt-out of the switch, Google says the hangouts.google.com domain will remain operational.

For the time being, only Workspace users and older G Suite Basic and Business subscribers are affected by this change. It affects people who use Google’s services as part of a business or organization, in other words. However, as 9to5Google points out, Google has previously stated that free Google Account users will experience the exact change as Workspace users.


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