Earlier it was reported that Google Hangouts would be shutting down in the future. Given that Google had decided to make the platform more business-centric, transitioning customers over to apps like Allo and Duo and Android Messages, this did not come as a surprise (although Google has yet to officially announce/confirm a timeframe).
The good news is that if you did enjoy the Hangouts brand as a consumer, it seems that Google is expected to eventually make Hangouts Chat and Meet available to consumers in the future. This is according to a tweet by Scott Johnston, Google’s product lead for Hangouts, where he responded to a question regarding non-G Suite users accessing Hangouts Chat and Meet.
According to Johnston and based on 9to5Google’s interpretation of his use of the term “migration” that it means that current users of Hangouts could eventually be “migrated” over to Chat and Meet. Right now only users with a G Suite account (basically enterprise users) can access Chat and Meet, which is Google’s take on team communications apps such as Slack, so it would be nice if it did eventually open up to non-G Suite users in the future as well. Take this report with a grain of salt for now, but hopefully we’ll have more details in the near future.
Right now it is only available to G Suite accounts, but before we migrate consumers, that will change.
— Scott Johnston (@happyinwater) December 1, 2018