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Google wants to push you away from Hangouts, so it’s giving you Chat for free

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acastro_180427_1777_0003.0.jpg Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

Google Chat, the messaging service previously only available to customers who pay for Google Workspace (the recent rebranding of G Suite), will become a free service that’s available inside of Gmail and in a standalone app, and you’ll be able to bring over your Hangouts data to Chat sometime in the first half of next year. Whether you view this transition as optional will depend on which Hangouts features you use, because some of them are also going away.

Google says it will “help automatically migrate” your Hangouts conversations, contacts, and chat history to Chat, according to a blog post. That language seems to suggest that your data won’t migrate by default, and it’s unclear what steps will be required for that migration, but Google...

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