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Update on migration of Google Chat Spaces with conversation topics to in-line threading

Google Chat’s Spaces used to have two options when they were created: allow individual topics for threaded conversations within the Space, or just one long conversation. Spaces with threaded topics will be converted into unthreaded Spaces later this year, and Google shared more details about this change.

There have been several significant improvements for Spaces. In 2022 Google introduced in-line replies, so that you can have a side conversation without adding to the main group discussion. And a few weeks ago, Google added the option to quote a previous Chat post, making it easier to call back to an earlier discussion when the conversation has moved on. 

The current timeline for Spaces: 

March 2023: It is no longer possible to create a new Space with threaded topics

July 5, 2023: Migration of Currents Communities to Chat Spaces is complete and Currents shuts down.

Early Q4 2023:  All Spaces use in-line threading, and Spaces that had separate topic threads are converted to this format. (Note, this appears to be delayed)

September 30, 2023: Google begins converting Spaces with conversations grouped by topic to in-line threading.

March 2024: The conversion process is complete.

This is a complicated migration, because of the different formats. Here is what the pre-migration posts will look like:
  • All posts will be arranged chronologically, rather than by topic.
  • There will be a separator line labeled "Begin New Topic" before topic post.
  • If there is a reply to an older topic, there will be a quote of the post the reply is responding to.
There will be a banner posted in Spaces with topics at least two weeks before they are migrated to the in-line format. 

The process will briefly make the Space inaccessible, but Google anticipates this only taking a few minutes. They will try to limit this to "off peak" times, and Google Workspace administrators can request a specific month and a weekday or weekend day for this process..

Update August 11, 2023: The upgrade will start in September 2023 and will be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2024. Announcement.

Update September 28, 2023: More detailed timeline announced. 

It sounds like it might be a little confusing to follow those older conversations. I was hoping they would be converted to in-line threads, but apparently not.