If you use Hangouts as an average consumer, you probably might be thinking about the impending death of Hangouts and what a transition to Google’s vaunted Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat apps might entail. Well, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news? Hangouts will still be around through at least October. The bad news? We have no clue what measures are in place to move people to the new platforms.
Google’s G Suite team, which oversees productivity apps like Drive and Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat, has announced that its customers will see Hangouts Chat being pushed heavily from April 16. G Suite administrators will see more controls that enable them to manage Hangouts Chat, Hangouts Meet and classic Hangouts apps simultaneously, including the option to turn off classic Hangouts. By default, old Hangouts messages and new Chat messages will be logged indefinitely, though admins can set retainment rules from March 16 to April 16.
Features from classic Hangouts will be migrated over to chat from that point on through September — these include Gmail and Google Voice integrations as well as video call optimization and chats with external users. From October, G Suite will begin shutting off classic Hangouts. It’s not known how long the shutdown will take.
Google will continue to serve classic Hangouts to consumers through the G Suite retirement program. A sunset plan will be available at a later date.