Google Chat Set to Replace Hangouts for Enterprise Users

Both Hangouts in Gmail on desktop and the Hangouts mobile apps will redirect to Chat, with no ability to opt out.
Adam Rowe

Google's Classic Hangouts instant messaging service will be officially sunsetting within a month. Business and enterprise users will all see the service leave on or before March 22, 2022.

The replacement will be Google Chat, and thanks to an automatic redirect, all Google Workspace customers will be on Chat by the end of March, whether they get the memo or not.

If this seems like old news to you, that's because it kinda is: We've been discussing this Google migration since October 2019. Finally, the end is in sight.

What to Know

Across the weeks leading up to  March 22, 2022, Google's activating a “Chat preferred” setting to make Chat the default for all customers across the board.

Both Hangouts in Gmail on desktop and the Hangouts mobile apps will redirect to Chat. Hangouts.google.com will “continue to work,” Google explained in a blog post about the change, adding that it “is not possible to opt out of this change.”

“After domains are upgraded to ‘Chat preferred,' all classic Hangouts applications, except hangouts.google.com, will be disabled. Additionally, the ‘Chat and classic Hangouts' and ‘Classic Hangouts only' settings will be removed from the Admin console,” Google explains.

Google also indicates that it may be possible to export classic Hangouts and Chat data, although there does not seem to be a simple way to do so.

Google Branding: Kind of a Mess

One last thing: This is all applicable to enterprise and business users, but will not affect personal use of Hangouts from a Google account.

For personal users, Hangouts seems to be remaining the main messaging and video call service. Business users will have the different branding of Google Chat for messaging and Google Meet for video calls — the latter of which was already rebranded from “Hangouts Meet” back in April 2020.

Google's free services and business software might offer amazing functionality, but this latest rebrand is far from the first sign that the higher-ups at Alphabet love to shuffle rapidly through different brands and names. G Suite was once Google Apps for Work, which was once Google Apps for Your Domain.

Their messaging apps have included Allo, Duo, and Android Messages as well as “GChat,” but don't ask me to remember which brands became which.

Is Google Workspace for You?

You may not care about the difference between Chat and Hangouts, but you probably care about being able to complete your work as seamlessly as possible, and Google Workspace can help you there. It starts at $6 per user per month for the Business Starter plan, so the price is right.

It's a broad solution that ties in easily with Google's range of business softwares, which makes Microsoft 365 and its Microsoft integrations the closest platform to compare Workspace with. But if you're interested in a lower price for a more stripped-down service, consider Zoho Workspace instead.

Other project management services worth looking at include monday and Clickup — we've included a table with all the top options and prices below. And none of them will ever migrate your messaging abilities to Google Chat.

0 out of 0
Price From
All prices listed as per user, per month (billed annually)
Best For
Pros
Cons

ClickUp

monday.com

Smartsheet

Asana

Wrike

Favro

Teamwork

Jira

Zoho Projects

Trello

Celoxis

Overall “Work OS”

Customization

Ease of use

Automation building + streamlining workflows

Complex task management

Customer support

Collaboration

Digital and tech teams

Value for money

Basic task management

Great user experience

  • Competitive pricing options
  • Really robust free plan
  • Very customizable
  • Free Trial
  • Highly customizable platform
  • A bit more affordable compared to other services
  • Automation features save loads of time
  • Spreadsheet-based interface
  • Easy for beginners
  • Great for any sized company
  • Free plan available
  • Wide range of third party integrations
  • Incredible clean and intuitive interface
  • Free options available
  • Free tier available
  • No-nonsense, robust feature catalog
  • Lots of customizability
  • Integrates with Slack, Google Hangouts, Adobe
  • Customizable row/column approach
  • Low cost option
  • Straightforward burndown chart creator
  • Excellent collaboration features
  • Multiple avenues to contact support
  • Lots of Task management features
  • Simple interface
  • Helpful integrations
  • Scalable pricing
  • Easy to use platform
  • Great free tier for small teams
  • Lots of available integrations
  • Functionality for various scenarios
  • Intuitive, drag-and-drop interface
  • Lots of add-ons available
  • Automation builder on all plans
  • Dedicated budget management features
  • Easy to navigate
  • Calendar and resource management chart
  • Limited storage on free plan
  • No feature for post-project feedback gathering
  • Limited collab. features
  • Limited third party integrations
  • Higher tiers required for some features
  • Few third party integrations
  • Some features have limited functionality
  • Most key features require Premium
  • High prices for larger teams
  • Limited customizability
  • Limited options on free plan
  • Mobile options are limited
  • Spreadsheet functionality doesn't support formulas
  • Dependencies complicated to set up
  • Doesn't allow integrations on lowest plan
  • No automation builder
  • Fewer data visualization tools than competitors
  • User limit of 5 on free plan
  • Missing more advanced project management features
  • Integrations can be confusing
  • Monthly rates are a bit high
  • Can get expensive for bigger teams
  • Some functions could be simplified
  • No post-project feedback gathering
  • Very limited free option
  • Too basic for larger teams
  • Add-ons come at a price
  • Minimal customizability
  • No automated workflows
  • High starting price
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Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and he has an art history book on 1970s sci-fi coming out from Abrams Books in 2022. In the meantime, he's hunting own the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.

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