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Learn about the switch from Google Currents to spaces in Google Chat

Content and communities in Google Currents are being moved to spaces in Google Chat.  As part of this change, you won't be able to use Currents beginning on 5 July 2023. If you're new to Google Chat, use this guide to: 

  • Familiarise yourself with the features available in spaces
  • Understand how spaces compare to communities in Currents
  • Learn how to use spaces

In this article

About spaces in Google Chat

  • Spaces is a feature of Google Chat, where you and others can discuss topics, interests and projects. Compared to Currents, spaces in Google Chat have wider community engagement tools, enhanced community moderation features and better integration with Google Workspace.
  • You can discover new spaces in Google Chat, or create your own space and manage users in it.
  • Spaces use in-line threads instead of posts. With in-line threads, you can reply to any message in a space – not just the most recent message. In-line threads allow smaller groups to talk about a topic without disturbing other conversations in the space.
  • Spaces are optimised for community engagement. You can react to messages with unique emoji, respond to message threads in-line, send images and files, add formatting to your messages and more.
  • Google Chat is available on the web, Android and iOS. You can also use Google Chat in Gmail.

What to expect with spaces

Communities are now spaces

If you were in a community in Currents, the community is now a space in Google Chat. You can find the space when you open Google Chat or Gmail, and open the 'Spaces' section in the left navigation menu.


This animation shows how to create a community in Currents. From the Communities page, click Create Community, then enter a community name and click Done.

Google Chat

This animation shows you how to create a space in Google Chat. To create a space, open Google Chat or Gmail, select Spaces from the left navigation menu, then click New space > Create a space.

Join a space to connect with people

Similar to communities, you join a space to share updates and chat with others about topics, interests or projects. Before you join a space, you can preview it and see what others are discussing.


This animation shows you how to find and join new communities in Currents. To browse for new communities, click Discover more (or use the search bar at the top in Currents), find a community, then click Join.

Google Chat

This animation shows you how to find and join a space in Google Chat. To find a space, open Google Chat or Gmail, select Spaces from the left navigation menu, then click New space > Browse spaces.

Communicate in a space

When you start a conversation in a space, you can do things like format your message, add images, share videos and GIFs, and more.


This animation shows you how to post in a Community in Currents. To create a new post, enter a message next to your profile pic in the Community, then click Post.

Google Chat

This animation shows you how to add a message in a space. To create a new message, open the space, then enter your message at the bottom. When you finish, click Send.

Reply and react to messages in a space

To share your thoughts, you can do things like respond in-line or add an emoji reaction to a message.


This animation shows you how to reply and like a post in Currents. To reply to a post, enter a message under the post, then click Post. To like a post, click the Thumbs up icon.

Google Chat

This animation shows you how to reply and react to a message in Chat. To reply to a message, hover over the message, then click Reply in thread. To react to a message with an emoji, hover over the message, then click Add reaction.

Get started with spaces

The instructions throughout this guide will provide you with steps for the desktop version of Google Chat ( To learn more about a feature and how to use it in other versions of Google Chat, select the 'Learn more' buttons in each section.

Keep in mind that:

  • Up to 8,000 people can join a space in Google Chat.
  • On Android and iOS, you can send up to 20 photos or video attachments per message.
  • You can add up to 4,096 characters per message.

Browse spaces

  1. Sign in to Google Chat.
  2. Next to 'Spaces', click Start a chat "".
  3. Click Browse spaces.
    • If a space is discoverable (open to all people in your organisation), you won't see the space when you browse. Instead, you'll need the link to the space to join it. You can also find the space when searching in Gmail.
  4. Enter the name of the space that you want to find.
  5. To learn more about the space, hover over the space, then click Preview.

Learn more

Join a space

  1. At the top left, click Start a chat "".
  2. Click Browse spaces. The spaces that you're directly invited to appear at the top of the list.
  3. To join the space, click Add "".
  4. To open the space, click Open.

Learn more

Reply and react to a message

  1. Hover over the message and, on the right, click Reply in thread Gmail Chat.
    • If a thread already has replies, you can click the message to open the thread panel.
  2. In the thread panel to the right of the space, enter your message in the message window at the bottom.
    • To add a person to the conversation or mention them: type , then enter a name.
    • To add emoji: click Emoji "".
    • To share files from your device: click Upload file "". Everyone in a space can find shared files.
    • To share files from Google Drive: click Add Google Drive file "". Everyone in a space can find shared Drive files.
    • To start a video call: click Add video meeting "".
    • To schedule a meeting: click Calendar .
    • To send a GIF: click GIF .
    • To add formatting to text: click Format "".
  3. Click Send "".

Learn more

Create a space

  1. Next to 'Spaces', click Create or find a space "" and then Create space.
  2. Enter a name for the space. 
    • You can also add an emoji and a description for the space.
  3. Enter names or email addresses of people and groups that you want to add.
  4. Choose an access level for your organisation, either 'Restricted' or 'All of your organisation'.
    • Restricted: Only directly added and invited users have access to the space.
    • All of your organisation: All members in your organisation have access to the space and can join if they have the space's link or via Gmail search. 
  5. Optional: To allow external people to join the space, select Allow people outside your organisation to join. If your administrator doesn't allow this feature, you may not have this option.

    • You can't change this setting.
    • The option to create spaces that allow guests is only available on Google Workspace accounts.
  6. Click Create.

After you've created the space, you automatically become the Space Manager . You can add or remove people, update access to the space, delete messages and more.

Learn more

Feature availability

Some Currents features aren't available in spaces in Google Chat. In this guide, we'll cover some important features in both Currents and spaces in Google Chat. For a full overview of the features available, go to Currents to spaces feature migration.

Feature Currents Spaces
Browse and join a community or space Yes Yes
Add a new post or message Yes Yes
Comment on a post or message Yes Yes
Reply and react to a post or message Yes Yes
Manage a community or space Yes Yes
Post to followers and following specific people Yes No
Polls Yes No
Reshare a post Yes No

Even if a Currents feature isn't fully supported in spaces, you may use a similar feature in Google Chat:

  • Manage a community or space: Google Chat offers enhanced moderation features for spaces. While you can't turn off comments (like in Currents), you'll have access to other tools in the space to promote healthy conversions. If you're a Space Manager, you can do things like delete messages, remove people from the space and update the space description with guidelines.
  • Posting to followers and following specific people: In a space, you'll see messages from people that join the space, and anyone in the space can see your messages. While you can't follow specific people or only show your messages to specific people, you can create or reply to in-line threads in a space.
  • Polls: As an alternative, you can ask people to leave an emoji reaction to your message. For example, if you ask 'Should we have coffee or tea ?' in the space, people can use the coffee or tea emoji to respond. You'll see the number of times that the emoji is used in response to your question.
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