Hangouts Chat is now Google Chat. You might temporarily see references to both names until this change rolls out everywhere.

About spaces and 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.

Tips:  

  • You must use a Google Workspace account to create a threaded space.
  • Group conversations are unthreaded.

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 two or more people.
Message history

Threaded spaces: History is always on and is kept based on your organisation’s policy. 

Unthreaded spaces: History can be turned on or off:

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

Tip: If no one joins a space and the creator leaves, a space created by a personal account is deleted after five days.

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

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

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

Name

The space creator chooses a space name.

Tips: 

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

Member names are listed.

Default notifications

Members are notified for conversations that 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.

Membership Members can leave and rejoin.

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 two or more spaces with the same group. Can have two 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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