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Google Hangouts Does Not Support Group Video Chats Anymore; Users Asked to Move to Meet

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts

Those who still want to use group video chats in Hangouts will need to revert back to version 25.0.327050771 of the app.

Hangouts is Google's cross-platform messaging app that replaced Google Talk few years back and is also used for video calls by some users. As Google is pushing more towards Google Meet as the company's primary video calling service, Hangouts video calls have also started using Meet instead. Following the version 36.0.340725045 update for Hangouts, the first things users see is a banner that states "Video calls in Hangouts now use Google Meet. That gives you live captions, screen sharing, and more."

While one-on-on video calls remain a part of Hangouts for now. However, group video calls are transferred to Google Meet. When users try to set up a video call using the Hangouts video button, a Meet link will automatically be pasted into the compose box. Meet users can have a video chat with up to 10 users at the same time for free and up to 25 to those paying for a Google Workspace plan. Previously Google allowed 25 people to engage in a shared video conversation. Now, in exchange of reducing the number of participants, Google is throwing in live captions and screen sharing features.

Those who still want to use group video chats in Hangouts will need to revert back to version 25.0.327050771 of the app. However, since most apps are automatically updated nowadays, very few number of people are expected to have the older version of Hangouts. Another option for free group video chats is Google Duo. However, there have been reports of Google moving Duo video calls also with Meet.