Google splits Hangouts into two, launches Hangouts Chat in private beta

Google has been making tweaks to its communication app arsenal in recent months, including the unification of Google Meet and Google Duo into a single service (Google Meet). Now, the company says it is ditching Google Hangouts and will migrate the application into Google Chat on Web.

Google has been promising its intentions to make Google Chat become its default texting app since earlier this year. At the time, the company said Google Hangouts on Gmail web, mobile, and Chrome extension will be automatically migrated to Chat.

Now, the company is confirming that migration and says Google Hangouts will head into the sunset on November 1, 2022.

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More details on what admins need to do to export their data and changes happening with Vault will be sent before the cutoff date via email. Google points out that the majority of data will migrate automatically, but there may be cases where some is left behind.

Migration

When this happens, the company will reach out to respective users individually. In a blog post, Google explains why this switch is necessary:

“Upgrading Google Hangouts to Google Chat gives users a single messaging solution and better integration across Google Workspace. Further, users can take advantage of the feature-rich experience, such as: 

  • Rich-text editing 
  • Tagging specific people with @ mentions 
  • Searching for and sharing GIFs and using emoji reactions 
  • Seamless integration with Gmail, alongside your other critical apps 
  • Spaces, dedicated places for organizing people, topics, and projects in Google Workspace.”

Google Workspace customers and those running the old G Suite will start getting the update in November. Users must download all their chat data by January 1 2023 as Google will delete Hangouts data permanently.

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