Late last year, there was a bit of a situation involving Hangouts and when Google will be shutting the messaging service down. Today the company shed a little more light on the matter.
Google today confirmed that it will begin "retiring" the classic version of Hangouts for G Suite customers in October 2019. All remaining users will be transitioned to Hangouts Chat. Between April 2019 and September 2019, Google will be adding the following features to Chat to make the transition easier:
Now, it's worth noting that this timing only affects G Suite customers, which are the people that pay Google for corporate-style services. Regular consumers should continue to have access to "classic" Hangouts into 2020. Google doesn't say when the classic Hangouts will be retired for regular consumers, but rumors have suggested that it'll happen some time in 2020.
Google has been working to consolidate its messaging services lately, confirming that Allo will soon shut down and working to transition users off of classic Hangouts. That's probably a good thing, as Google has had several messaging services in recent years and the company should focus on one or two messaging options and continually make those better for users. Hopefully that's what Google is working to do now.