- Google has started the process of shutting down Hangouts and migrating its users to Google Chat next year.
Google is starting the process of shutting down Hangouts and moving its users to Google Chat next year. This move is not entirely unexpected, as Google had already announced its plans to migrate Hangout users to Google Chat in December 2018.
Google Chat, a messaging service that was previously only available to customers who pay for Google Workspace, will be a free service from next year - both as a standalone app and as part of the integrated Gmail experience.
Google Chat will have similar Hangout features like direct and group messaging, along with additions such as emoji reactions, faster search, send to inbox and suggested replies options. Chat will also offer additional features for group chats and collaboration around files and tasks, as well as new security tools.
According to a blog post by Google, the upgrade from Hangouts to Chat will begin in the first half of 2021. All Hangouts conversations, contacts and history will automatically be migrated to Google Chat.
However, for those who use Hangouts with Google Fi, you can expect Hangouts support to go away early next year. This experience will be migrated to the Google’s messages app.
Moreover, Hangouts Voice users will be redirected to the Voice app for text messaging and calling going forward, and early next year, the voice support in Hangouts would be removed as well.
Google will share more guidance and the exact timing of the transition soon.