Hangouts is Google’s cross-platform instant messaging app which allows you to start one-on-one or group conversations, share pictures and videos, and make voice calls.
Recently, Google has been trying to push users to employ its Meet service for video chats. In order to do this, Google even added a link to ‘Meet’ at the bottom of Gmail users’ inbox.
If you open the Hangouts app, following the update to version 36.0.340725045, the first thing you’ll see is a banner that states, “Video calls in Hangouts now use Google Meet. That gives you live captions, screen sharing, and more.”
One-on-one video calls are still available on Hangouts but group calls via Hangouts can no longer be made.
Meet users can video chat with up to 10 users at the once for free, and up to 25 for those paying for a Workspace plan.
If one still wants to use Hangouts for a group video chat session, they can revert back to version before the update.
If you need to video chat with more than 10 people at no cost, Google Duo is a good alternative. But there has been talk about Google replacing Duo with Meet.