As we announced in 2017, Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet are the next generation of Hangouts that focus on team communication. Later this year, we’ll transition classic Hangouts users on G Suite domains to Chat and Meet. As a first step, some changes are coming on April 16, 2019.

Key dates to note

G Suite customers can expect the following timeline of changes:

  • April 16, 2019 – Several changes that may require administrator action (see below for details).
  • Between April and September 2019 – Features from classic Hangouts will come to Chat.
  • October 2019 – Start retiring classic Hangouts for G Suite customers.

Consumer impact

The above dates are specific to G Suite customers and their end users who use classic Hangouts. We will continue to support consumer use of classic Hangouts, and expect to transition consumers to free Chat and Meet following the transition of G Suite customers. A more specific timeline will be communicated at a later date.

What changes will take place on April 16, 2019?

For G Suite domains that have classic Hangouts enabled, Chat will also become available to users on the web and via mobile apps. They can also continue using classic Hangouts in Gmail, mobile, web or the Chrome extension. See these details for how interoperability works between Chat and classic Hangouts.

The following admin-facing changes will begin taking place on April 16, 2019:

  1. For Google Vault customers, Mail retention rules and holds will stop protecting chat messages in classic Hangouts. Instead, Chat retention rules and holds will protect chat messages in both classic Hangouts and Chat.
  2. Chat admin settings will now control chat capability in both classic Hangouts and Chat.
  3. A new setting in the Admin console under Apps > G Suite > Hangouts Chatwill be added so you can disable classic Hangouts user interfaces at a time of your choosing.
  4. The “Google Hangouts” settings page in the Admin console will be renamed “Hangouts Meet.” This setting will control both classic Hangouts video and Hangouts Meet.

Google Vault customers need to take action before April 16, 2019

Between March 16 and April 16, 2019, Vault customers that have any Mail retention rules or holds will have an indefinite retention rule automatically created for Chat. This rule is to protect all your chat messages in classic Hangouts when Chat rules start protecting them on April 16, 2019. Before April 16, 2019, you must:

  • Review and set new retention rules for Chat in Google Vault.
  • Duplicate any existing Mail holds for Chat in Google Vault.
  • Set any new holds on chat messages from Chat in Google Vault.
  • Once you have set your preferred retention rules and holds for Chat, in order for them to take effect, remove the indefinite retention rule that may be overriding your rules.

If you don’t take set your preferred retention rules or holds in Chat and then remove the indefinite retention rule by April 16, 2019, all your chat messages in classic Hangouts and direct messages in Chat will be retained indefinitely. Refer to this Help Center article to learn more about completing these actions.

What will happen in October 2019?

Classic Hangouts will be retired for all G Suite customers starting in October 2019 and all remaining users will be transitioned to Chat. More notices and details will be shared on the G Suite Updates blog in the future. In order to make the transition easier for your users, you can review our Chat documentation.

What is the best time to move my users to Hangouts Chat?

You can transition your users immediately if you’d like. If there’s more functionality that your organization needs before switching, rest assured that between April and September 2019, we’ll add features that will make it easier for your users to move from classic Hangouts to Chat such as:

  • Integration with Gmail
  • Chatting with external users
  • An improved video calling experience
  • Making calls with Google Voice

We will communicate availability of these new features via the G Suite Updates blog so stay tuned!

Helpful links

Two new Hangouts Meet tools added to the Admin console

What’s changing

We’re launching two new features in the Admin console to help G Suite admins better understand and manage the usage of Hangouts Meet within their organizations. Specifically, we’re adding:

  • Meet quality tool: This tool gives quick and easy access to meeting information in your domain. With that information, you can better understand what happened in a meeting and what might have caused quality issues, significantly reducing troubleshooting time.
  • Hangouts Meet activity logs: Information about Meet usage and quality is now available to admins through Meet activity logs (in the Admin console under Reports > Audit > Hangouts Meet), enabling you both high level and detailed views on usage within your domain.

Who’s impacted

Admins only

Why you’d use it

Meet quality tool: Meet quality tool is designed to help you to troubleshoot your meetings. You can either look at one specific meeting or filter for a time frame, location, device or user. The data visible in Meet quality tool is available in the Hangouts Meet activity log (explained below) to enable further analysis.

Hangouts Meet activity logs:Each time a device or a user leaves a call, an “Activity event” that summarizes usage and quality is generated. The event includes information about the endpoint (such as device type, location, IP, identifier, or call rating), its usage (such as time sharing their video, screen sharing or audio) and network statistics (such as jitter, packet loss, or RTT). Learn more about the data available in the Help Center.

Hangouts Meet activity logs provides data to help better answer questions such as:

  • Is video conferencing transforming my organization (and if so, how)?
    • Which locations communicate actively and which locations are isolated?
    • How many minutes of video conference (VC) are run every day/week for different groups of people?
    • Does Meet help my organization work remotely?
    • Analyze Hangouts Meet Hardware usage. How does it change over time or location?
  • How is my network performing and what is the impact it has on video quality for my users?
    • How do users rate the quality of the calls on my domain? Does it vary over time or per location?
    • How much bandwidth does Meet use overall and at a specific location?

How to get started

  • Admins
    • Meet quality tool: To use Meet quality tool you need to be a super admin or have the correct delegated admin privilege. Follow the instructions in the Help Center to learn more about Meet quality tool access delegation.
    • Hangouts Meet activity log: Visit the Admin console and go to Reports > Audit > Hangouts Meet. Here, you can export the data to your favorite analytical tool (using the Activity API or BigQuery for G Suite Enterprise customers) to answer specific questions you may have.


Export the data using BigQuery

  • End users: No end user impact.

Helpful links

Help Center: Troubleshoot meeting quality
Help Center: Hangouts Meet audit log


Rollout details

  • Rapid Release domains: Full rollout (1-3 days) starting on January 22, 2019
  • Scheduled Release domains: Full rollout (1-3 days) starting on January 22, 2019

G Suite editions

  • Both the Meet quality tool and the Meet activity log are available to all G Suite editions.

On/off by default?

  • This feature will be ON by default.