As Google Chat continues to mercilessly wipe the floor with Hangouts, including their recent decision to no longer let you perform group calls within the old app, they’ve now decided to migrate all of your Hangouts group conversations and saved history into Google Chat in order to ensure a smooth transition.
The move will begin on December 3, 2020, which is in just a few days and will take about 15 days to complete. Oddly enough, the update will apply to all Workspace tiers aside from Workspace Essentials and Enterprise Essentials at this time. Your chat history may show up later than the chats themselves, so just sit tight as Google works their magic on their end. Regular Google Account users are going to have to wait for future news on this feature, and I’m sure Google will determine if it’s necessary to migrate their group chats based on how much they’re being used (Less than Workspace users, for sure.)
In addition to seeing your old group conversations in Chat, you’ll also be able to add and change new members. Anyone who is added later on will be able to see the entire conversation including things that were sent before they joined so they can easily catch up. In old Hangouts, a user would only be able to see discussions from the point that they joined and onward.
As an added reminder to migrate your users to Google Chat before the guillotine falls on Hangouts, the Workspace team recommends that Admins review their existing retention rules in their console. You can create a new Google Chat group using the migrated Hangouts chat group if you wish by selecting the ‘Start a new chat’ button in the conversation’s menu so it can take advantage of all of the new app’s features moving forward. This option retains all of your chat history and members and allows you to add new ones too.