[Update: Postponed for G Suite] Google will transition “classic” Hangouts users to Chat and Meet later this year
One of the biggest Google stories of 2018 was the downfall of Hangouts. The platform had long been seemingly abandoned, but we finally got some news about its future. In December, we learned that Hangouts users will eventually be transitioned to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. There was no timeline given at the time, but now we have a little more of an idea.
Google has posted an update on the transition for G Suite users from “classic” Hangouts to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. The company also shared some details for non-G Suite users. There’s always confusion when talking about Hangouts because of the different availability for free users and G Suite users. We’ll try to clear up some of that.
“Classic” Hangouts, which is the app and web service most of us know and use, will begin “retiring” in October 2019 for G Suite users. For those of us who are not G Suite users, Google does not have an end date yet, but it will likely happen in 2020. G Suite users will be transitioned from classic Hangouts to Chat and Meet. Google will begin bringing features over from classic Hangouts to Hangouts Chat in April 2019. Those features include:
- Integration with Gmail
- Chatting with external users
- An improved video calling experience
- Making calls with Google Voice
Hopefully, Chat is a much better app by the time that October date rolls around. So what about non-G Suite users? While we don’t have an end date yet, we do know a little more about a landing spot. Google says they will transition consumers to a free version of Hangouts Chat and Meet sometime after the G Suite transition. Previous reports claimed consumers would be moved to a limited free version of Chat and Meet. This latest news seems to follow along with those reports.
Source: G Suite Blog
Update: Postponed for G Suite
Google originally announced plans to retire classic Hangouts for G Suite customers in October. After receiving feedback from customers, Google has decided to postpone the final transition date to “no sooner than June 2020.” A more definitive date will be given later on. In the meantime, G Suite customers can continue to use classic Hangouts, but Google does urge people to start transitioning to Chat.
Source: G Suite Blog