Google Chat

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Google Chat
Google Chat icon (2020).svg
Initial release2017
Stable release
PlatformAndroid, iOS, Web
TypeCommunication software

Google Chat (formerly known as Hangouts Chat) is a communication software developed by Google built for teams that provides direct messages and team chat rooms, along with a group messaging function that allows Google Drive content sharing. It is one of two apps that constitute the replacement for Google Hangouts, the other being Google Meet. Google planned to begin retiring Google Hangouts in October 2019.[1]

It was initially available only to Google Workspace (formerly G Suite until October 2020[2]) customers only, with identical features in all packages except a lack of Vault data retention in the Basic package.[3] However, in October 2020, Google announced plans to open Google Chat up to consumers as early as 2021, once Hangouts has been officially retired,[4] and Chat began to roll out to consumer accounts in "early access" in February 2021.[5][6] Hangouts will remain a consumer-level product for people using standard Google accounts.[7][8][9] By April 2021, Google Chat became fully available for free as an "Early Access" service, for users who choose to use it instead of Hangouts.[10]


Logo of Google Chat used from 2017 to October 2020

Hangouts Chat was announced at Google's Cloud Next event in March 2017.[11] It was launched as Google's answer to Slack, and featured team chat rooms and direct messaging capabilities.

It was later rebranded to Google Chat.[12] Following the rebranding, and along with a similar change for Hangouts Meet, the Hangouts brand is to be removed from Google Workspace. While Google Meet introduced the above features to upgrade the original Hangouts application, some standard Hangouts features were deprecated, including viewing attendees and chat simultaneously. The number of video feeds allowed at one time was also reduced to 8 (while up to 4 feeds can be shown in a "tiles" layout), prioritizing those attendees who most recently used their microphone. Additionally features such as the chat box were changed to overlay the video feeds, rather than resizing the latter to fit.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ de Looper, Christian. "Google will begin shutting down the classic Hangouts app in November 2020". Archived from the original on August 4, 2019. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  2. ^ "Announcing Google Workspace, everything you need to get it done, in one location". Google Cloud Blog. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  3. ^ "Compare G Suite products - Chat". Retrieved 2020-04-29.
  4. ^ "The latest on Google Hangouts and the upgrade to Google Chat". Google. 2020-10-15. Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  5. ^ Bradshaw, Kyle (2021-02-10). "Google Chat readies beta preview for Hangouts users". 9to5Google. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  6. ^ Li, Abner (2021-02-24). "Google Chat 'preview' starts rolling out to some classic Hangouts users". 9to5Google. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  7. ^ Statt, Nick (2020-04-09). "Google is rebranding Hangouts Chat as just Google Chat". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  8. ^ April 2020, Mike Moore 10. "Google Hangouts officially rebrands as Google Chat". TechRadar. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  9. ^ Smith, Chris (2020-04-10). "Google's messaging apps just got more confusing: Meet and Chat". BGR. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  10. ^ "New Gmail with Google Chat tabs rolling out for free accounts, here's how to turn on". 2021-04-04. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  11. ^ "Google goes after Slack and splits Hangouts into Chat and Meet". Techcrunch. March 9, 2017.
  12. ^ Statt, Nick (April 9, 2020). "Google is rebranding Hangouts Chat as just Google Chat". The Verge.

Further reading[edit]