On August 16, 2021, Google is going to be swapping Workspace users over automatically from “Chat and classic Hangouts” to “Chat preferred” unless organizations opt-out. This means that the next phase in the company’s shutdown of classic Google Hangouts is going to be in full effect before the end of the year. For most users, the option to use Hangouts will be completely eradicated in place of the shiny, new Google Chat!
Going a step further, the company will be entirely removing the aforementioned “Chat and classic Hangouts option that previously allowed users to stick with the old service by choice with the option to use Chat instead. To clarify, organizations that do opt-out will not be forced at this time to upgrade to Chat, but that step will of course come eventually. Anyone who does not opt-out will receive an email telling them about this change.
Messages sent in one-to-one conversations and groups will be automatically migrated over to Google Chat from Hangouts with no need for users or admins to do anything manually. This goes for both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release domains across all Workspace tiers as well as G Suite Basic, Business, and Enterprise.
Hangouts has amassed such a large userbase over the years and quite honestly some adoration. There are many who are upset that Google is ‘sunsetting’ it, but if we’re honest, Chat has just turned out to be so much better in nearly every regard. I tend to lean into change instead of shying away from it though, but I do see why some would feel frustrated by such a large shift. Let me know in the comments if you have any reservations regarding Google’s decisions for your organization.