Late last year, it was reported 2019 would serve as the last full year users could use the consumer version of Google Hangouts. This was met by contradictory remarks by a member of the Hangouts team, but no clear answer as to when the service would die was given. Now, however, we’re finally hearing when we can expect a panic among Hangouts users to begin.
In a new blog post from Google, the company states classic Hangouts will begin dying off for G Suite customers in October of this year. This means if you pay Google for its G Suite services, you’ll be asked to move away from classic Hangouts and begin utilizing Hangouts Chat and Meet around Halloween. Google says it won’t begin asking average users to move to the new apps until all G Suite users have made the transition, so you probably have until the first half of 2019 (at the earliest) to keep using Hangouts like you normally do.
To help with the transition, Google says it’ll begin migrating features from classic Hangouts to Hangouts Chat between April and September 2019. In addition, a more transparent time frame for when consumers can expect Hangouts to shut down will be given at a different time.
Here’s a snippet from the blog post with the dates and information Google is giving at this time.
Key dates to note G Suite customers can expect the following timeline of changes:
– April 16, 2019 – Several changes that may require administrator action (see below for details). – Between April and September 2019 – Features from classic Hangouts will come to Chat. – October 2019 – Start retiring classic Hangouts for G Suite customers.
Consumer impact The above dates are specific to G Suite customers and their end users who use classic Hangouts. We will continue to support consumer use of classic Hangouts, and expect to transition consumers to free Chat and Meet following the transition of G Suite customers. A more specific timeline will be communicated at a later date.
In short, enjoy Hangouts while it’s still here, because it’s definitely going away.