Google is delaying the shutdown of its longtime internet protocol chat and call app, Hangouts. G Suite users were originally told that Hangouts would be retired starting in October. Now, the deadline for G Suite customers to move has now been pushed back to "no sooner than June 2020."
The company said it has taken feedback for G Suite customers into consideration, saying that they needed more time to move from classic Hangouts to its newer apps, Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. In an updated timeline, Google now says that G Suite users will be able to voluntarily switch over from classic Hangouts to Hangouts Chat in the first half of 2020. Systematic retirement would begin sometime after that.
Regular consumers were expected to begin transitioning to Chat and Meet sometime after the process for G Suite customers began — now, the company is saying that "no changes will be made to the consumer version of classic Hangouts" and that support would continue on.
When we contacted Google for clarification on what that ultimately meant for the consumer version shutdown, the company responded with the following statement:
To clarify, we will continue to support consumer use of classic Hangouts in the interim. We still expect to transition consumers to free Chat and Meet following the transition of G Suite customers (which has been postponed per our blog post today).
We might have to wait for another update to get a consumer shutdown date.
For the moment, classic Hangouts will receive ongoing maintenance and Hangouts Chat will get new features like Read receipts. G Suite groups that have already started the moving process can register their interest in an Accelerated Transition Program. Details can be found at the links below.