Upgrades to threading in Google Chat spaces to begin September 30

August 24, 2023

Starting September 30, 2023, Google will begin upgrading the format of all Google Chat spaces organized by conversation topic to in-line threaded spaces in batches over the course of several months. Learn more about in-line threaded Chat spaces.

What to Expect

Before the upgrade

A banner should appear in spaces that are organized by conversation topic, notifying you of the upcoming transition in the weeks leading up to it.

Google Chat space with blue banner at the top stating the space will be upgraded soon.

During the upgrade

  • According to Google, the upgrade should occur during non-peak hours on weekends to ensure minimal disruption.
  • Once the upgrade starts, it will typically take a few minutes to complete but can take up to 12 hours in some cases.
  • You will receive an error stating the space is temporarily unavailable if you attempt to open a space while it’s being upgraded.

After the upgrade

  • You may need to close and reopen Chat in order to access the upgraded spaces.
  • Messages sent before the upgrade will be retained and arranged chronologically instead of by topic. There will also be a separator (“Begin New Topic”) in the message history to indicate every time a new topic was started.
  • In some cases, when individuals have responded to older topics, the new chronological order takes precedence. This means that messages may not appear next to the original topic but rather according to the time that they were sent. When this occurs, the new response will quote the last corresponding message.
  • There will also be a separator (“In-Line Replies Added”) between the last message sent before the upgrade and new messages sent after.
  • Messages sent after will have the same experience as the existing in-line threaded spaces.
  • The upgraded spaces will have conversation history turned ON by default. (This is to match the previous history retention behavior of spaces organized by conversation topic, which always had history on.) In most cases, this setting can be changed by Space Managers after the upgrade.

Google Chat space showing how previous conversation topic spaces will look after the upgrade, with text separators between topics