Google Workspace to discontinue Hangouts from November 1, 2022

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Google has stated in its latest news that the company will be discontinuing Google Hangouts starting from November 1, 2022. In a communication sent to all Google Workspace administrators, Google emphasized that Google Hangouts on web will begin redirecting to Google Chat on web and Hangouts will no longer be available. This change is not optional.

They also stated that for some users, some conversations or portions of conversations won’t migrate from Hangouts to Chat. All Google Workspace/Google Hangout users will receive this email from Google to this effect. If you are yet to receive this kind of email, kindly look out for this email from Google. 

A Brief History

In February 2022, Google Workspace announced that they would make Google Chat the default chat application by turning on the “Chat preferred” setting for any customers who had yet to do so. Since March 2022, Hangouts mobile apps, Hangouts in Gmail web, and the Hangouts Chrome extension have been redirecting to Chat. 

As such, Hangouts on web and users’ conversations will remain accessible until November 1, 2022. Some additional changes users can expect as part of this update are:

  • Searching for Hangouts and Chat messages in Gmail
  • Currently, when a Gmail user performs a search, the results appear in Hangouts and Chat messages in two places—under the Mail tab and under the Messages tab (which was previously displayed as Chat & Spaces tab).

In the communication, Google reiterated that starting November 1, 2022, Gmail users will only find results for Hangouts and Chat messages under the Messages tab (previously displayed as Chat & Spaces tab). After January 1, 2023, all Hangouts and Chat search results will be removed from the Mail tab in Gmail.

However, any messages under Vault retention or holds will continue to be available for admins in Vault.

Exporting Hangouts and Chat data

Currently, Hangouts and Chat messages are available in the Data Export Tools for Hangouts, Chat, and Gmail (for admins).

For organizations that use Vault, Hangouts & Chat messages can be found and exported in Vault search results for Hangouts, Chat, and Gmail.

Starting November 1, 2022, interoperability between Hangouts and Chat will be turned down. As a result, new Chat messages will no longer be available in the Data Export Tools for Hangouts and Gmail. They will only be available in the Data Export Tool for Chat.

For organizations using Vault, starting November 1, 2022, Google recommends searching for Hangouts and Chat messages under Chat only.

After January 1, 2023, Hangouts data will be deleted. Hangouts and Chat messages will no longer be available in the Data Export Tools for Hangouts and Gmail. Old Hangouts data that is already available in Chat, will be available in the Data Export Tool for Chat.

For organizations using Vault, starting January 1, 2023, users will no longer see Hangouts and Chat messages if you search under Hangouts or Gmail—unless those messages are under retention or hold. Google recommends searching for Hangouts and Chat messages under Chat.

Other changes

Data Export Tool: Starting January 1, 2023, customers will not be able to use the Data Export Tool to download Hangouts data and users will no longer be able to use Hangouts Takeout.

Data Export Tool for Chat for Google Chat does not include users’ messages from group conversations created by users from other organizations.

  • Gmail API: Starting November 1, 2022, the Gmail API will no longer produce new Chat messages.
  • Apps Monthly Uptime Dashboard: The Apps Monthly Uptime Dashboard will not list Hangouts starting November 1, 2022.
  • Domain Transfer: Starting January 1, 2023, Hangouts data will be unsupported for Domain Transfer.

What do you need to do? 

For users who wish to keep a copy of Hangouts conversations, Google strongly encourage users to export their organization’s data and/or enable their users to use Google Takeout to download Hangouts data before January 1, 2023, when Hangouts data will be deleted.

Google also recommends to inform users that starting November 1, 2022, users will no longer be able to access Hangouts and will be redirected to Google Chat.

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