Today, you can try Google Chat by turning on the Chat service independently from the classic Hangouts service. Many customers are already using both Chat and classic Hangouts. You can also use a new setting to migrate everyone to Chat and enable Chat in Gmail. By late 2020, we'll start upgrading all classic Hangouts users to Chat.
The Chat upgrade has 4 phases.
Phase 1 (complete): Vault consolidation
If you use Google Vault, all chat-related settings for classic Hangouts were migrated to Chat at the end of 2019. Mail holds and retention rules stopped protecting messages in classic Hangouts. All Chat and classic Hangouts messages are now protected by Chat holds and retention rules. Learn more
Phase 2 (complete): Early upgrade
During phase 2, Accelerated Transition Program customers were able to migrate all users to Chat with the “Chat Preferred” setting and preview several Chat features before they were generally available.
Phase 3 (complete): Anyone can upgrade—1st half of 2020
- The new "Chat Preferred" setting in the Admin console lets you migrate all users to Chat and enable the new Chat integration in Gmail.
- Chat and classic Hangouts settings are being simplified in the Admin console.
- Chat now supports messaging external users.
Phase 4: Everyone will be upgraded—Late 2020
All remaining classic Hangouts users will be upgraded to Chat and will no longer be able to use classic Hangouts.