Google is rolling out a preview of Chat to some Hangouts users
Google has begun the process of moving people away from Hangouts
February 25, 2021 / 05:39 PM IST
Last year, Google said that it would eventually transition from Hangouts to Chat. Google's mobile messaging service hasn't really taken off since launch and is currently languishing behind competition like Facebook's Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat. The company said that it will eventually phase out Hangouts, replacing it with Google Chat.
Now it looks like Google is rolling out a preview of Google Chat to some Hangouts users. As reported by Ars Technica, some users are now seeing a "Welcome to Google Chat" prompt. The prompt says that "Chat introduces a new experience and features not available in Hangouts."
Google Chat started out as an enterprise communication app with the ability for paid users to invite anyone with Gmail account. Last year, Google reshuffled its enterprise offerings, moving people away from Hangouts to its Chat and Meet.
As reported on by 9to5Google, the preview allows you to sync your existing Hangouts contacts with Chat. It still has some missing features such as group chat or SMS support but comes with a strong enterprise features available to free users such as the ability to share files from Google Drive and Google Calendar integration.
The preview is still not available to everyone but Google has said that the option for Hangouts users to transition to Chat will be available starting in the first half of 2021. The company also said that all existing conversations, contacts and history will automatically be migrated over to Chats, once users accept.