Google has finally confirmed the date when it will be closing its Hangouts instant messaging service for good.
The company has revealed that enterprise and business users on “Classic Hangouts” will be upgraded to the new Google Chat service by March 22, 2022.
In a blog post, the company added that the move will ensure all Google Workspace customers will be using the same platform, with anyone trying to access Hangouts being redirected across to Google Chat.
Farewell Google Hangouts
The news brings an end to a rather protracted saga for Google that saw it extend the deadline for Hangouts' retirement several times.
News of a move first emerged in October 2019, with Hangouts officially rebranded as Google Chat for what was then G Suite enterprise users back in November 2020, and user migration over to the new service beginning the following month.
The news came as Google also revealed it would rebrand its video conferencing service (then Hangouts Meet) to Google Meet.
Now, the “final phase” of the migration will be complete within weeks, with Google noting that “it is not possible to opt out of this change”, and that all classic Hangouts applications will also be disabled, including the Android and iOS apps.
However, users will be able to export their historic Hangouts and Chat data using a special Google tool.
The change will not affect Hangouts users with only personal Google accounts, but it's likely that they will see a similar change soon.
For now, if your organization’s Google Workspace Admin console setting is set to “Chat and classic Hangouts,” the automatic upgrade to the new platform will occur “over the course of three weeks starting March 22, 2022.”
Customers with the “Classic Hangouts only” setting will be upgraded over the course of five weeks, starting April 4, 2022.
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