Google to begin migrating users from Hangouts to Chat starting next year

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on October 16, 2020

Earlier this month, it launched Google Workspace that combines Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Chat and Meet, among others, in one place

Google will begin to officially migrate users from Google Hangouts to Google Chat starting next year.

“Starting in the first half of 2021, everyone can begin upgrading from Hangouts to Chat,” Google announced in an official blog post.

Earlier this month, the tech giant announced the launch of Google Workspace which combines a range of services including Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Chat and Meet, among others in one place. The platform is generally available to all Google’s business customers and will be available for all users from next year.

This has led to Google migrating its users away from Hangouts on multiple platforms.

For Hangouts on mobile and desktop, users will be transitioned to Google Chats.

Also read: Google renames business software package Workspace

“To ensure a smooth transition, we will help automatically migrate your Hangouts conversations, along with contacts and saved history. We’ll share more specific guidance on what steps you can take when we begin the transition process,” Google said.

Google will make Chat available as a free service. It will be available as an integrated service within its email service, Gmail as well as a standalone app.

“Chat includes familiar Hangouts features like direct and group messaging, with helpful additions like send to inbox, faster search, emoji reactions and suggested replies,” Google said.

Hangouts for Google-fi and Voice

For users leveraging Hangouts on Google-fi, the tech giant will move users to its Google Messages app on Fi.

“Early next year, we’ll remove Fi support in Hangouts,” Google said.

“Fi users will be able to make voice calls and check voicemail from Messages for web, manage conversations from Messages across devices (even when their phone is off) and migrate their existing Hangouts conversations. Beginning this month, we’ll provide guidance about these changes and direct Hangouts Fi users to Messages or the default SMS app on their phone,” it added.

For users using Hangouts with Google voice, the tech giant will direct them to the Google Voice app beginning this month.

It will encourage users to leverage the Voice app for “text messaging and calling going forward”. It will remove Voice support in Hangouts from early next year.

Also read: What’s new with Facebook Groups

It is also removing call phones features in Hangouts to comply with new telecommunications regulations in the EU and US which will be introduced beginning in 2021.

It will start showing in-product notifications to affected users starting October with relevant guidance on managing their remaining calling credits. The feature will be entirely removed early next year.

“Separately, in November, we’ll update the group video calling experience in Hangouts with Meet to provide better quality meetings,” Google said.

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Published on October 16, 2020
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