It appears that Google has moved on to the next stage of the migration from classic Hangouts to Google Chats. As reported by 9to5Google, classic Hangouts messages have begun appearing in Chats instead.
The migration first began in June for G Suite users. This did not lock the hangouts website but just moved users over to Google Chats. Before this Google made it possible for Chats users to message classic Hangouts users as part of the migration.
Many have criticised Google for what has been a very confusing phased move. Adding to this, there is some suggestion that this latest move was not an intentional decision.
Hangouts to Chats migration continues
Over the past few days classic Hangouts users have been receiving messages in Google Chat. This move looks like it is different from when Chats added support for external guests. In May, this allowed users to Gmail users to access specific conversations.
These messages are being sent and received by users with free accounts, however. Google has noted that the free version of Chats will become available when hangouts dies out.
However, the company did say it would give a more specific timeline as the year progressed. This is why this move looks like it may have been unintentional. Or at best another example of what has been a very confusing migration.
Some users receive messages in both Hangouts and Chats
Now, there have been reports of users receiving messages in both apps. There is one difference though, that in the Chats app users only saw the most recent messages and not the entire chat history.
These users were able to reply in either app and have the message appear in both. The only limitation appears to be that they were unable to start a new conversation in the Chats app.
Another quirk is that images sent in the Chats app appear in Hangouts as links. They also come with a note saying that they were shared in the Google Chats app. The Chats app also still warns that you can only join Chats you have specifically been invited to.
This is a crucial step to shutting hangouts down in the long run as free users need to be integrated into Chats. However, this process is taking a long time and seems to be happening very haphazardly.
It is very possible that this was not an intentional move from Google. However, it is a necessary one so hopefully it all goes smoothly.