Google Chat is back after nearly a decade as Hangouts Chat rides off into the sunset

Google Hangouts Chat
Google Hangouts Chat (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is renaming Hangouts Chat as Google Chat.
  • The change comes after the company similarly dropped the Hangouts from Hangouts Meet.
  • The consumer-oriented Hangouts app will keep its name, however, so the Hangouts brand isn't quite dead yet.

When Google updated its support pages to remove the Hangouts from Hangouts Meet yesterday, we wondered if Hangouts Chat was also going to meet the same fate. Well, Google just confirmed today that it will and has officially renamed Hangout Chats as Google Chat.

Despite not releasing an official statement on its blogs, the company confirmed its plans for a rebranding to The Verge. If you head over to the Google's support landing page and the page dedicated to the app, you can see the change is now in effect.

The rebranding effort is far from complete, though, because not only does the Play Store listing still refer to Hangouts Chat — the same is true of Google Meet, by the way — but even the support pages themselves keep referring to Hangouts Chat. At least the Meet app's documentation is a bit more up to date.

The consumer-focused Hangouts app, though, will continue to brandish the name. "There will be no changes to the consumer (classic) version of Hangouts," a Google spokesperson said. You can also find the regular, old Hangouts in the Gmail web app.

The change should certainly clear up some of the residual branding issues surrounding Google's suite of chat apps. The enterprise-focused offerings will now be referred to as Google Chat and Google Meet, while the consumer-oriented app will retain the Hangouts branding. But while it solves one problem, it also creates another. Namely, that Chat is also what Google is calling its newfangled, RCS-based SMS replacement. Way to go fighting confusion by sowing more confusion, Google!

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