Google Hangouts gets end date for workspace users

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After years of talking about the end times, Google made it official today: Hangouts will be disabled and unavailable to Google Workspace customers next month. For those who haven’t switched to Google Chat yet, Google is about to force you into it.

The official switchover date is March 22, which Google announced today on its Workspace blog. Google laid out the situations that might impact some people who haven’t yet switched to chat.

Once March 22 arrives, Google will enable the “Preferred Chat” setting in the Workspace admin panels. The move makes Google Chat the default messaging app, replacing Hangouts. This means that if you try to find Hangouts in Gmail or mobile apps, they will redirect or tell you to find your conversations in Google Chat. Google has confirmed that hangouts.google.com will still work, at least for now.

The other people who aren’t on “Preferred Chat” yet are those running the options for “Chat and Classic Hangouts” and “Classic Hangouts Only.” Starting next month and for a period of three weeks, Google will once again remove these options to put everyone in the chat.

If your organization allows both Hangouts and Chat, it’s time to make sure everything has migrated to Chat. This should have happened automatically, as far as I know, but you might want to check by opening the chat before March 22.

For those worried that Hangouts will no longer work with your personal Gmail account, this change is strictly for Workspace accounts. However, Hangouts for personal accounts is already pretty much dead.

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