Google Hangouts users will no longer be able to use the group video calling feature on the Android app and the web version. However, the new changes are applicable only to the latest version of the app. If you have not updated your Hangouts app on your Android phone, you can still use the feature. The users who are trying to make video calls on Hangouts are being redirected to Google Meet.
So when you update your Hangouts from Google Play Store, you no longer get the option to host a group video call. When you try making a call, you are greeted with a message that reads, “Video calls in Hangouts now use Google Meet. That gives you live captions, screen sharing, and more.” However, you can still make one-on-one video calls and audio calls from the app and the web version of the app.
Google is trying to make the video calling feature exclusive to Google Meet. When you tap on the video call icon on a Hangouts group, a Google Meet link would be instantly generated and pasted on the group for everyone else to join. Users can join the meeting by clicking on the link.
This is pretty similar to how Facebook uses the Messenger Rooms feature. The Room shortcut is available on WhatsApp but that would not let users host a video meeting on the app itself. It will redirect users to Facebook Messenger Rooms.
As per a report by Android Police, users can still revert to the old version of Hangouts that supports group calling by using an APK link.
Google Meet currently allows up to 10 people to join a video call on the free version and up to 25 users on the paid version. Google Duo, another video conferencing app by Google, allows around 30 people to join a call. Google has launched a host of features in the past and recently it rolled out a new feature that would allow users to raise hands virtually during a meeting. So if you want to ask questions in the middle of a meeting or say something, you can use the raise hands button to make yourself heard. It is better to notify the moderator before blurting out something in a jiffy or interrupt the speaker. When the button is clicked, the moderators get to know about it
Apart from this, it also rolled out the feature that allows a user to change his background during a video call. Google Meet is one of the widely used video conferencing apps. Apart from Google Meet, there are Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and even Facebook Messenger Rooms.