Google announced that it will be shutting down its classic Hangouts video chat service and replacing it with Google Chat later this year. The company said the move was made to make communication more efficient among office workers in particular, who tend to use chat services like Slack and Microsoft Teams more than consumers do. With its improved group chat features, Google Chat seems poised to fill the void left by Classic Hangouts as workplace communications continue to move towards real-time messaging apps like Slack and Workplace by Facebook. Google Chat is Here to Replace Hangouts for Office-Bound Workers
A Change in Focus
Google has announced that it will be shifting its focus away from Google+ and Hangouts and toward a new, enterprise-oriented messaging app called Chat. The company claims that classic hangout sessions are increasingly being used by large businesses for collaboration, so Google+ and other personal applications on their social network will begin to decline in favor of enterprise apps.
The Differences Between Chat and Classic Hangouts
Classic hangouts are a great way to share photos, video and content with your friends on Google+. However, if you’re using Google Apps or have office employees who prefer text messaging over video chats, it’s time for you and your friends to transition from hangouts. Classic hangouts are going away soon, so here’s what you need to know about chat
Getting Started with Chat
While you can use Chat on desktop, Google designed it primarily with mobile in mind. To get started using chat, all you need is an Android phone or iPhone running at least iOS 10.1 (and of course a Google account). Download and open Google’s official Messenger app, then log in using your regular Gmail address and password.
Do I Have to Use Hangouts at All?
Google’s new Allo and Duo video chat apps are designed as replacements for FaceTime and Skype, but they don’t include any features useful to enterprise. If you need a more customizable solution that lets you replace voice calls, video chats, and messaging with one platform—or just want to keep Hangouts alive in case you have people who refuse to use Allo or Duo—it’s worth testing Google Chat.