Action required: Upcoming changes to Google Chat rooms affect Vault

In November 2020, Google Chat will release unthreaded rooms, which are rooms where messages aren't grouped into conversations. Users can still create threaded rooms by turning on threading. Vault will handle messages in threaded rooms and unthreaded rooms differently.

Who's impacted, what to do, and when

If your organization is required to retain messages in Chat rooms, in the Google Admin console, review your Chat settings to make sure they're set correctly. If your organization has holds on Chat or saved queries that search Chat rooms using search terms, evaluate them to ensure that they work as required by your organization. See the next section for details.

The change will roll out to customers over several weeks in November. Initially, the change will apply only to rooms that users created with threaded replies turned off. A later update will apply this behavior to all Chat rooms.

What's changing

Retention

Users can turn history off for unthreaded rooms unless you configure Chat settings to force history on. When history is off, Vault doesn't retain messages in the room.

To enforce history-on for all rooms, Google Workspace administrators can use settings in the Google Admin console: turn Chat history on and uncheck the Allow users to change their history setting box.

To set room history as on by default, Google Workspace administrators can set room history on. However, if users are allowed to change their history setting, they can still turn off history when they create a room.

Holds

Currently, a hold applies to a conversation in a threaded room only if a user on hold sent a message. This behavior won't change for threaded rooms.

With the upcoming release of unthreaded rooms, a hold applies to all messages in an unthreaded room that a user on hold was a member of. Messages are held even if a user on hold didn't send a message in the room. If all users on hold leave a room, only messages sent before the last user on hold left are included in the hold.

Search, preview, and export

Currently, for threaded rooms Vault applies search terms to the entire conversation. When you preview or export the search results, the entire conversation is included. This behavior won't change for now.

With the upcoming release of unthreaded rooms, search terms are applied to individual messages in unthreaded rooms. To provide context for unthreaded messages that match your search query, preview and export return all messages in the room sent 12 hours before and 12 hours after the matched message.

For example, you have a room that contains the following exchange:

    participant 1: hi

    participant 2: hello

 

If you use search terms*, search, preview, and export process the messages as follows:

Search term Threaded rooms Unthreaded rooms and group chats created after early December 2020
hi All messages in the conversation are returned by search, available for preview (up to 1000 messages), and exported.

Search: Only the message from participant 1 is returned because only that message matches the search term.

Preview and export: Participant 1's message plus all messages in the Chat space that were sent 12 hours before and 12 hours after are included.

hello All messages in the conversation are returned by search, available for preview (up to 1000 messages), and exported.

Search: Only the message from participant 2 is returned because only that message matches the search term.

Preview and export: Participant 2's message plus all messages in the Chat space that were sent 12 hours before and 12 hours after are included.

hi hello All messages in the conversation are returned by search, available for preview (up to 1000 messages), and exported.

No messages are returned or exported because no individual message contains both search terms.

hi from:participant1@example.com All messages in the conversation are returned by search, available for preview (up to 1000 messages), and exported.

Search: Only the message from participant 1 is returned because only that message matches both search terms.

Preview and export: Participant 1's message plus all messages in the Chat space that were sent 12 hours before and 12 hours after are included.

hi from:participant2@example.com All messages in the conversation are returned by search, available for preview (up to 1000 messages), and exported. No messages are returned or exported because no individual message matches both search terms.
‑hi from:participant1@example.com No messages from the sample conversation are returned or exported because the conversation doesn't match both search terms. No messages from the sample conversation are returned or exported because no individual message matches both search terms.
‑hi from:participant2@example.com No messages from the sample conversation are returned or exported because the conversation doesn't match both search terms.

Search: Only the message from participant 2 is returned because only that message matches the search term.

Preview and export: Participant 2's message plus all messages in the Chat space that were sent 12 hours before and 12 hours after are included.

 *Note: Chat search doesn't support Boolean operators, such as AND, OR, and NOT. However, a list of search terms is treated as if AND was between each term. If a keyword is preceded by -, then that word is treated as if it's preceded by NOT. Learn more

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