After stopping Google Hangouts for Workspace users in February, Google is now starting to migrate free, personal Hangouts users to Chat. in a announcement posted on his blogGoogle says people who are still using the Hangouts mobile app will see a prompt to go to Chat.
As for users using Hangouts in Gmail on the web, Google says it won’t ask users to switch to Chat until July. Hangouts will remain usable on the desktop site until November, and Google says it will give users “at least a month” notice before pointing the Hangouts site to Chat.
Confusingly, Google Chat isn’t the same as GChat (or Google Talk), which Google shut down for good earlier this month. (Hangouts was originally supposed to be GChat’s successor, but here we are.) The company first hinted at its plans to transition users from Hangouts to Chat in 2018 and made the feature free to all users in 2020.
If you’re still using Hangouts, Google should automatically transfer your existing conversations to Chat. The company is also giving you the option to use its Takeout service to download a copy of your Hangouts data before it officially shuts down in November.
To entice users to switch to Chat, Google says it’s rolling out a few new features, including the ability to call directly, create in-line threads in Spaces (the Rooms rebrand), and share multiple images and view. †