Google Hangouts is no more

It’s time for the old girl to go, and the folks at Google are going to have some chat with you about it. It’s a great thing really, since they’ll tell you what all the perks of being on their platform.

The time has finally come for Google Hangouts. In a quick update to their app, the company is asking users not to hold onto a good thing just so they can say goodbye to it. It’s like letting go of an old friend–you knew them once, but you know that you couldn’t have withstood that long farewell-slash-crying session.

Starting November 1, 2022, Google Hangouts on the web will automatically redirect to Chat on the web. All messages and contacts should be automatically ported over to this new system.

Google has killed off their messaging app, Hangouts. However, some messages won’t be ported over and Google is telling users that their data will be lost on Dec. 2023 if they don’t export it before then. This is a rough road for the company, which in recent years has been constantly changing to make room and adapt as technology changes, but also preserve its main asset Hangouts.

Of course, this is hardly surprising. Google has been moving Hangouts users to Chat since 2021. At a certain point, they couldn’t ask their users to switch anymore and instead started mandating the change. Earlier this year, Google started urging Hangouts users to migrate over to Chat. They’ve been gradually migrating people over to its other messaging app for a few months now, but it’s finally decided that the final date of death will be Nov. 1, 2022.

And, it’s not much like Slack in functionality either. It often seems rather primitive and akin to how some people would use email chat. You can set your status or react with an emoji to other people’s posts, but there aren’t many options for searching documents within Chat.

Google’s other messaging app, Google Messages, looks to compete with iMessages, with features like voice messages transcriptions. Apparently, the only way to compete with a walled garden is to make more other walls.

Hangouts began life on Google+, but became a standalone app in 2013. During the course of its development and making the jump to being a stand-alone app, Hangouts incorporated features from other platforms like Google Talk and Google+ Messenger. There was also integration with SMS message, and even mention of integrating VoIP services like Google Voice into Hangouts.

Despite Hangouts being installed 5 billion times on the Play Store, it seems like the company’s messaging strategy was cursed. In the years that followed, it seemed to reverse its idea of an “all-in-one app” and ask users to use Messenger for SMS. Allo and Duo were even added as steps away from Hangouts. Guess which app wasn’t preinstalled? If you guessed Hangouts, then you’d be correct.

At times, Google is unable to compete with Facebook and iMessage. Their biggest competitor recently released a new standard for cross-platform messaging that they don’t support–making communications between their two most popular apps more difficult than ever.

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