Google has been warning that the migration from Classic Hangouts to Google Chat was impending and inevitable for Google Workspace customers for some time now. We last reported this back in July when Google warned that it was switching Workspace users from “Chat and classic Hangouts” to “Chat preferred” unless the organization opted out. Google has now confirmed that it is ready to move into the final phase of this migration.
Beginning March 22, 2022, we’ll turn on the “Chat preferred” setting for any customers who haven’t already done so, making Google Chat the default chat application. This means that when users visit classic Hangouts in Gmail on the web or the classic Hangouts mobile apps, they’ll be directed to Chat.
Google further explains that although the URL hangouts.google.com will continue to work, it will simply redirect to the Chat URL instead. It will also not be possible to opt out of this change any longer.
The scheduled migration will proceed as follows for the below Admin console settings:
Admin console setting
- Chat and classic Hangouts: Access groups with both Google Chat and classic Hangouts turned on
- Classic Hangouts only: Access groups with only classic Hangouts enabled
Automatic upgrade timeline
- Over the course of three weeks starting March 22, 2022
- Over the course of five weeks starting April 4, 2022
Scheduled Migration Admin Console settings
Source: Google Workspace Updates Blog
This change will affect all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers. It will not affect the use of Hangouts on personal Google accounts.