Google Hangouts has been upgraded to Google Chat. Learn about the switch from Google Hangouts to Google Chat.

About spaces & group conversations

You can use spaces or group conversations in Google Chat to communicate with one or more people.

  • Spaces: A central place where people can share files, assign tasks, and stay connected.
  • Group conversations: Chat directly with a group. For example, use group conversations to have a quick discussion after a meeting.

Tip: Group conversations aren’t threaded.

Should I use a space or group message?

  Spaces Group conversations
Purpose Collaborate on long-term projects with teams or specific groups. Direct message with 2 or more people.
Message history

History is on by default and kept based on your organization’s policy. 

If you use a work or school Google Account, the administrator may turn history on or off. 

When history is:

  • On: Messages follow your organization's data retention policy. If you use a personal account, messages are kept indefinitely.
  • Off: Messages are removed after 24 hours.

If you use a Google Workspace account, history depends on your organization's settings. History can be:

  • Off: Messages are removed after 24 hours.
  • On: Messages follow your organization’s data retention policy.

Tip: If participants leave a group conversation created by a personal account, the conversation is deleted after 5 days.


The space creator chooses a space name.


  • If you use a Google Workspace account and someone in your organization created the space, you can change a space name. 
  • If the space was created by a personal account, any space member can change the space name.

Member names are listed.

Description The room creator chooses a room description.  Group conversations don't have descriptions. 
Default Notifications

Members are notified for conversations they're in or when @mentioned.

These are default settings and can be changed. Turn Google Chat notifications on or off.

Members are notified for every message.

These are default settings and can be changed. Turn Google Chat notifications on or off.


Members can leave a space. To rejoin the space, they need another member to add them or invite them again.

Tip: If the space is discoverable, you can rejoin at any time.

Members can leave and rejoin.  

Tip: For group conversations created before December 2020, members may not be able to leave.
Multiple chat spaces with the same people Can have 2 or more spaces with the same group. Can have 2 or more conversations with the same group.
Create and assign tasks Can create and assign tasks to other space members. Unnamed group conversations don’t have task features.
Shared files Can share files and view a list of files shared with the space. Can share files with the group, but can’t view a list of the files.
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