Google will start killing off Hangouts in 2021

The tech giant will gradually migrate users to its free standalone Chat service early next year

Mobile interfaces for Google Hangouts, Gmail and Google Chat

Google will begin transitioning customers from Google Hangouts to Google Chat starting next year, with the former set to be officially killed off.

Chat, a messaging service that was previously only available to paying G Suite users, will be made free as a service within Gmail but also as a standalone app.

The announcement signals the beginning of the end for Hangouts, which will slowly lose features and services as they are shifted over to Chat and other areas of Workspace, the company's new G Suite desktop app.

The transition will start sometime in the first half of 2021, Google said in a blog post, as tools will be made available to help automatically move Hangouts conversations, contacts and conversation history to Chat. The details are still a little vague at this stage, but Google said it will share more guidance soon.

What we do know is that Hangouts will lose support for features such as Google Fi and Google Voice, early next year. It will also lose its call phones feature, to comply with new telecommunications regulations being introduced in the EU and US. The tech giant said it will send notifications to Google Workspace admins to detail the final migration stages in the "coming months".

Google users won't be surprised by the move away from Hangouts, as it was originally hinted back in 2018. According to The Verge, Google has said the switch will be gradual and will include a period of time where both Hangouts and Chat will both be available. However, eventually all free users and Workspace customers will be moved over to Chat where it will then fully replace Hangouts.

Featured Resources

Managing security risk and compliance in a challenging landscape

How key technology partners grow with your organisation

Download now

Evaluate your order-to-cash process

15 recommended metrics to benchmark your O2C operations

Download now

AI 360: Hold, fold, or double down?

How AI can benefit your business

Download now

Getting started with Azure Red Hat OpenShift

A developer’s guide to improving application building and deployment capabilities

Download now

Recommended

Microsoft Teams will soon make it easier to switch calls between devices
video conferencing

Microsoft Teams will soon make it easier to switch calls between devices

14 Dec 2020
JetBrains launches collaboration tool targeting software devs
collaboration

JetBrains launches collaboration tool targeting software devs

11 Dec 2020
Basecamp 3 review: More molehill than mountain
project management software

Basecamp 3 review: More molehill than mountain

30 Nov 2020
Zoom review: Are we alone now?
video conferencing

Zoom review: Are we alone now?

29 Apr 2020

Most Popular

School laptops sent by government arrive loaded with malware
malware

School laptops sent by government arrive loaded with malware

21 Jan 2021
How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD
operating systems

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD

21 Jan 2021
How to recover deleted emails in Gmail
email delivery

How to recover deleted emails in Gmail

6 Jan 2021