Google Hangouts Overview Updated November 25, 2020

Google Hangouts

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166 'Google Hangouts' stories

July 2011 - November 2020

Hangouts was announced at I/O 2013 and combined the company’s disparate messaging platforms into one unified product. It includes the text elements of Google Talk and Google+ Messenger/Huddle, as well as the video portion of Google+ Hangouts.

Hangouts allows for group conversations with two or more people and can be accessed through Android and iOS apps, as well as the web in Gmail or the dedicated Hangouts site. Users can send images, video, stickers, and location, in addition to having group video calls with multiple people.

Until recently, Hangouts was the default messaging app on Android and handled SMS text messages. However, Google began pushing users to the dedicated Messenger SMS app and is introducing a new messaging app called Allo to replace the messaging parts of Hangouts and Duo for video.

Despite the new apps, Google has noted that Hangouts will remain as the company’s messaging solution for corporate customers.

Google Hangouts Stories Today

Back in October, Google announced that Chat was going free next year as part of the eventual deprecation of classic Hangouts. The company detailed several transitions related to this, including a change to group video calling that brings Meet into the existing Hangouts app.

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Google Hangouts Stories October 22

In addition to announcing a Phone subscription program, Google today emailed Fi subscribers about how to “Move [their] conversations to Messages by Google.” Support documents lay out in detail what to expect and that Fi texting in the Hangouts app will stop working at the start of next year.

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Google Hangouts Stories October 15

At the tail end of 2018, we reported on Google’s plans to replace Hangouts with Chat and Meet. The company later confirmed the news and has since been moving enterprise users to those two apps. Google is now ready to start detailing how it will transition classic Hangouts users to a free version of Chat.

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Google Hangouts Stories August 10

In June, the classic Hangouts to Google Chat migration started in earnest for G Suite customers. Free accounts are expected to get transitioned next, and there are now signs that this is underway. Over the past few days, classic Hangouts users are receiving messages in Google Chat.

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Google Hangouts Stories June 23

In May 2017, the vast majority of Android users lost the ability to use Hangouts as an SMS/MMS client. Google Fi subscribers were exempted, but that support could be coming to an end as the eventual deprecation of classic Hangouts nears.

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Google Hangouts Stories June 9

Last week, Google started migrating G Suite users away from classic Hangouts to Google Chat with the legacy service shutting down in “late 2020” for enterprise. The latest version of Google Voice for Android today provides some insight into the transition for regular users.

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