Hangouts instant messaging, built into Gmail, will be phased out into a free version of Google Chat for all users by next year.
Last week, Google unveiled Google Workspace, the new name for its G Suite office suite, which brings together Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Chat, Meet and many more, in one place. While Workspace is initially reserved for professional users with a paid account, the service should also arrive for the rest of the users by next year.
But the arrival of Workspace for the general public comes to sign the death warrant of Hangouts messaging. From next year, Hangouts will therefore be replaced by a free version of Google Chat. It will be integrated with Gmail and will also exist as a stand-alone application.
Chat, which already integrates most of the features of Hangouts, will integrate additional features such as faster search, the ability to react with emojis or even use suggested responses. The new mailbox will also have the same anti-phishing protection tools as those present in Gmail.
The migration from Hangouts to Google Chat is expected to begin in the first half of 2021. Google will offer a migration system to allow users to move all conversations stored in Hangouts history to Google Chat.