Google has postponed the shutdown of Hangouts for G Suite users till June 2020. The company was to begin retiring classic Hangouts users from October. These users would then transition to Hangouts Chat or Hangouts Meet and this final transition date has been postponed to June 2020. Google announced, back in March 2017, that it would redevelop Hangouts, its instant messaging client for various devices, to be more enterprise focused. It then introduced two G Suite services – Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet - the former is a text-based communication tool for teams, the latter enables video meetings, again for enterprise users.
In a new blog post, Google informs that the transition of classic Hangouts users to Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat has been postponed to June 2020. The company says that a definitive date will be announced later. The reason for postponement, Google told The Verge, is that IT firms claim that people are very used to Hangouts, and that they'd “like more time to migrate organisations from classic Hangouts to Hangouts Chat.”
The company even plans to add more features to classic Hangouts while it's still being used, to help make the transition process easier. In classic Hangouts, a user can only direct message another user currently, but in the future, the company plans to add the ability to view or participate in group chats too.
Google does specify that G Suite customers can transition their users immediately if they like. The process has been detailed in the blog post. Many enterprises use Google's suite of services to provide email, communication, productivity and cloud storage tools to their employees and these changes will affect only these users starting June 2020. By the end of 2020 though, the company looks to move all G Suite users to new services.