On March 22, users attempting to access Google’s Hangouts chat services will automatically be redirected to Google Chat instead.
Google announced that it would soon replace the classic Hangouts messaging service and transition Workspace users to Google Chat. The change, which will be taking place on March 22, will make Google Chat the default chat application.
Users trying to access the classic service from Gmail or the old Hangouts mobile app will automatically be redirected to Chat.
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The transition will not be optional; however, Google will keep the domain hangouts.google.com in existence for those willing to take alternative, web-based routes to keep using the old Chat.
GooChats announcement also explains that all but a few “special cases“ of existing Hangouts chat histories will be carried over onto Google Chat and made available there. However, starting mid-March 2022, any newly created spaces in Google Chat will not appear in classic Hangouts. This means that messages sent in these spaces will only appear in Google Chat.
Along with Workspace users, the change will also affect legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers. This obviously includes all businesses and organizations that use Google services.
There is no end-user setting for this feature, and admins who currently have the “Classic Hangouts only” or “Chat and classic Hangouts” Admin console setting enabled for their entire domain, or specific access groups will be automatically upgraded to the “Chat preferred” setting.
Google also offers admins the ability to upgrade their users to “Chat preferred” before the change.
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