Google Chat known limitations

Google Chat has the following known limitations. Read each one carefully to make sure you understand the impact to your organization before switching users to Chat.

Group conversation and space participant limits

The number of participants you can have in a group conversation or space depends on the type of Chat:

Chat type Description Maximum number of participants
Group conversation Conversation in "Chat" section with 2 or more people 400
In-line threaded space Single conversation stream (default space type) 8,000
Space organized by conversation topic Separate conversations grouped by topic 8,000

Use Chat with users in other organizations

  • Users in Google Workspace organizations that have not yet turned on Chat won't be reachable through Chat. Users can message any external users in organizations that have Chat turned on.
  • Users can’t add external guests to group chats created in Chat. 
  • Essentials edition only: If your domain is not verified, users can't add coworkers outside their Essentials team to a group chat. Everyone outside the Essentials team is considered an external guest, including people in their larger organization. If the domain is verified, users can have group chats with anyone in their organization.

About voice calls

  • Phone calls and text messages using Google Voice are not directly available through Chat.

    Users can switch apps to use voice.google.com to make phone calls and send or receive text messages, or download the Google Voice app on their mobile devices (Android, iOS).

    If a user hasn't already set up Voice on their Google Workspace account, your organization will need to get a Voice license for new users to sign up for Voice.

  • Fi users: Chat doesn't work with Google Fi. Google Fi users with classic Hangouts as their default text messaging app for their device can still send and receive text messages using the classic Hangouts app on their Google Fi mobile device.

About video calls

Users can start and join meetings from 1:1 chats using Google Chat in Gmail on Android and iOS devices. Users with the Gmail app installed can also join and start audio or video calls from the mobile Chat app.

For other situations, such as group conversations and Chat on the web, the following applies:

  • From Chat, users can join unscheduled online meetings through Google Meet by sharing a link to Meet. This is different from the video calling experience from classic Hangouts because there's no ringing or calling state. 
  • Users who want to join meetings from their phones should download the Meet application to their mobile devices (Android, iOS) and sign in to their Google Workspace account.

Learn about the limitations in the chat standalone app

For possible limitations, go to Use the Google Chat standalone app

Find chat messages in Gmail inbox

For customers who adopted Chat before June 2020 with the Chat preferred service setting: 

  • If users haven't signed in to classic Hangouts, all chat messages go to their Gmail inbox to notify them of missed or unread messages.
  • After they sign in to classic Hangouts at hangouts.google.com, chat messages skip their inbox and get filtered with the Chats label.

All users can still see chat messages in Gmail if they use filters to send chat messages to their inbox or if they view content with the All Mail label

Developer and API issues

If you use the Google Workspace Email Audit API, the chatMonitorLevel parameter applies only to classic Hangouts, not to Google Chat.

For Google Chat, you can instead use a third-party archiving solution. To learn more, reference the third-party archiving admin help and developer help

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