Google Hangouts shutdown begins towards the end of this year. Search giant Google just detailed its plan on what it'd look like and how it plans to shift Hangouts users to a separate, enterprise-focused "Hangouts Chat." First things first, Google has two products: Hangouts (also known as "Classic" hangouts) and Hangouts Chat.
Hangouts Chat competes directly with Slack, a team messaging app whereas "Classic" Hangouts is a consumer-facing instant messaging application that replaced G-Talk for the desktop version of Gmail. Hangouts went to become a separate app for mobile users.
Google explains it will start migrating "classic" Hangouts users (including those who have been using the service for 13 years ever since the introduction of Google Talk) to Hangouts Chat, an enterprise version of Google's instant messenger.
"Classic" Hangouts has reached over a billion app installs on Play Store whereas Hangouts Chat has meager 500,000 installs on Play Store. That's obvious given that Hangouts Chat is limited to paying G Suite users. Hangouts Chat launched only 10 months ago.
"Classic Hangouts will be retired for all G Suite customers starting in October 2019 and all remaining users will be transitioned to Chat," says Google.
"We will continue to support consumer use of classic Hangouts and expect to transition consumers to free Chat and Meet following the transition of GSuite customers. A more specific timeline will be communicated at a later date."
Between April and September 2019, Hangouts Chat will receive several features from "classic" Hangouts including integration with Gmail, chatting with external users, improved video calling experience and making calls with Google Voice. By October 2019, Google will start retiring classic Hangouts for G Suite customers.