Google announced the shutdown of Hangouts for Chat and Meet for Google Workspace, formerly G Suite users in 2018. This process went on for a couple of years and it’s finally taking effect. Google enabled integrated Gmail with Gmail Chat & Rooms for most of the paid accounts and it has started rolling out.
Reportedly Google has a 5-phase plan for all this and phase 4 is when classic hangout for companies will be moved to “chat” by default. The updated just rolled out his week for many users and will probably finish by the end of Q3 2021.
Admins, however, can opt out of this feature but this is the last phase before mandatory upgrade set for Q4 2021. Once we reach that point, all Workspace users will be migrated and Classic Google Hangout option will be replaced by Chat.
Most of the Android, iOS and Windows/Mac users have been already notified about the update. If you have got this notification, you can check for new Chat and Rooms feature on the lead sidebar.
You can use the new chat and room feature to create groups and start an instant chat with your teammates.