Google Hangouts is finally going away, really for everyone in November 2022, and Google Chat is ready to step in as a full-fledged replacement. Once reserved for Google Workspace subscribers, Chat generally offers more options, so it’s a good trade-off.
Any change means learning how the new system works, and the fine details can be frustrating at times. An early start is the best way to get the situation under control and manage the transition on your own schedule.
[Google](https://blog.google/products/workspace/hangouts-to-chat/) began phasing out Hangouts for Workspace customers in February 2022 and is now encouraging all Hangouts users to switch to Google in November chat. In most cases, Hangouts’ messages and contacts should automatically appear in Chat, making it easy to continue current conversations and refer to past information.
at opening Hangouts in a web browser, a message will appear at the top of the page with a link to open Google Chat and another with additional information. A similar transition is recommended when using the Hangouts Chrome extension, with the Google Chat Progressive Web App is offered as an alternative to simply loading Chat in a tab. The Hangouts mobile app will also be discontinued in November and a Google Chat app will be available for iPhone and Android phones.
Chat offers more features, including easy access to Google Meet – the video conferencing solution – and Google Spaces – an environment that allows Google Drive files and Google to-do lists to be shared with multiple people and integrated with text, photo, and video messaging. In the Gmail settings, Chat can be enabled in a sidebar so that it can be accessed without loading a separate webpage.
As far as forced changes go, moving to Chat really isn’t that bad. One of the few drawbacks is that video call ringing only works in the Gmail mobile app; however, a Google Meet invite can be sent from Chat to get a similar result.
Google has been notoriously unclear about which messaging app to use for each situation, often launching several competing solutions at once. A single deliberate response to the common need to communicate with friends, family and colleagues would probably have been much more popular and perhaps Cut Google Talk, Duo and Hangouts will help to clear up the confusion once and for all.
Google Chat and Meet are the future and integrate more fully with other Google apps and services, so you should start the transition now.