New Hangouts for Gmail Update 
August 10, 2012. We’re rolling out an all-new version of Gmail voice and video chat called Hangouts for Gmail. See below for our latest news, rollout schedule, and resources for launching Gmail Hangouts in your organization.
Overview

In our effort to achieve a simpler, more consistent experience across all Google properties, we are upgrading video chat in Gmail to Google+ Hangouts. When this upgrade rolls out to your domain, you'll be able to chat with the same people you did before, but with significantly better quality and more reliable connections. And with Hangouts, you can reach people not only when they're using Gmail, but also when they're using Google+ or on their Android or iOS devices. Even if you haven't joined Google+, you'll still get these benefits.

  • Users who haven't joined Google+ can hold one-to-one video chats, just as they do today, but now via a simplified Google+ Hangouts user interface instead of Gmail video chat.
  • Google+ users get the full Google+ Hangouts experience from Gmail, including screensharing, Google Docs collaboration, apps in Hangouts, and the ability to video chat with up to nine other Google+ users.
  • Everyone gets an improved chat roster with quick access links to call phones and start a hangout.

See the FAQ to learn more, including steps you should take now to ensure a smooth transition.

Release schedule

Voice and video chat in Gmail changes to the Hangouts interface beginning on the following dates. Please note that this rollout will take a number of days to complete.

  • Rapid Release customers: August 10, 2012
  • Scheduled Release customersSeptember 4, 2012

The old video chat functionality will still be available for a limited time from the drop-down Options menu in the Gmail chat interface.

Resources for administrators

FAQ What should I know about the transition to Hangouts for Gmail?
Email template Make a company announcement about the new Hangouts for Gmail.

Resources for your users

User help center  Learn how to set up and use the new Hangouts for Gmail.