Google is winding down its messaging app Hangouts before it officially shuts in November, the web giant announced on Monday.
Users of the mobile app will see a pop-up asking them to move their conversations onto Google Chat, which is yet another one of its online services. It can be accessed via Gmail as well as its own standalone application. Next month, conversations in the web version of Hangouts will be ported over to Chat in Gmail.
Google encouraged people to download their data using Google Takeout if they wanted to keep it before Hangouts is no longer available in November 2022.
“Moving to Google Chat opens up new and better ways to connect and collaborate,” product manager Ravi Kanneganti said in a blog post. “For example, users can edit Docs, Slides or Sheets with side-by-side editing, making it easier to collaborate while continuing the conversation.
“Google Chat also includes Spaces, a dedicated place for topic-based collaboration. Groups and teams can share ideas, work on documents, and manage files and tasks, all from a single location. And, the new integrated view in Gmail makes it easier to use Chat alongside your Gmail inbox, Spaces, and Meet.” The search titan is consolidating these services, from Google Chat to Google Docs and Meet, onto one platform for Gmail users. They’re also available to enterprise customers as Google Workspace, which supports accounts with custom email addresses and
Google Hangouts was designed as an instant-messaging app operating across multiple platforms for its now defunct social network platform Google+. In 2013, it was spun out as a separate app but failed to gain much visible traction compared to alternatives such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram.
Google started porting Workspace customers over to Meet and Chat from Hangouts in 2020. Gmail users were also asked to transition last year before Hangouts is discontinued forever. Chat will be Google’s dominant messaging platform going forward. Google said it will integrate more features, allowing users to make direct calls, start in-line threads in Spaces, and share and view multiple images. ®