Google Chat replaces Classic Hangouts in Gmail

On June 11, NC State officially transitioned to Google Chat as the default online messaging service. Chat replaces Classic Hangouts. 

Chat is available in your Gmail window, via or by clicking the Chat icon in the Google Apps launcher. You can also download the mobile app for iOS or Android. Chat has been available as a separate platform for the past year, so you may already be familiar with the interface. 

Chat offers more features than Classic Hangouts, including the ability to create persistent collaboration spaces called “rooms.” Group messages and direct (individual) messages are still available. In addition, you will notice the following updates:

  • Integration of conversations between Classic Hangouts and Google Chat. 
  • The ability to include external users in direct chats and Chat rooms.
    External (non users will need a Google account to participate in your conversations, and an “external” badge will appear to make sure you know who you’re chatting with. See image below.

Google Chat External Flag










  • Group conversations previously created in Classic Hangouts will not migrate to Google Chat. New group messages or rooms will need to be created in Chat. 
  • Group messages and rooms have different retention, membership and notification settings. See Rooms vs. Group messages for feature comparison. 
  • Chat rooms can be used by teams, committees, departments, or for other group-related purposes. Rooms offer several benefits compared to the group messages including:
    • Multiple threads
    • The ability to add and remove members 
    • 18-month message retention
    • The ability for members to leave and rejoin
  • With all conversations, you can share documents, start up a Google Meet, or even edit your message. 

Google plans to discontinue Classic Hangouts in the near future, but will continue to make it available for a limited time at Google Hangouts.