Google is always retiring products, and the latest one to get the ax is Google Hangouts. The communication tool is shutting down in November.
Remember the time you used to use Google Hangouts? All you will have of it will soon be memories as Google is laying out the collaboration tool to pasture. The search giant had earlier retired Google Hangouts for Workspace in February, but the whole product will be gone by November.
Google is asking the holdouts still using Hangouts to move over to another of its products called Chat. The Hangouts app gives the prompt informing users of the new place where they can reach their friends, families, and workmates from.
However, web Hangouts users from within Gmail won’t be prompted to migrate to Chat until July, although that is just a few weeks away, in the worst-case scenario. On the desktop site, users will be able to access the application until November, but they will get at least one month’s notice before it starts pointing them to the Chat website.
Meanwhile, Hangouts users should note that Chat is not the same as GChat or Google Talk, although the chances of confusing the two are low as the latter was shut down this month. Interestingly, Hangouts was supposed to replace GChat, but both are on their way out around the same time.
Google first mentioned it would transfer Hangouts users to Chat in 2018. It made all the features free for all users two years later.
All your Hangouts conversations will be automatically transferred to Chat, but you may download all your Hangouts data with Google’s Takeout service before Hangouts shuts down for good in November.
To make the switch as painless as possible, Google is rolling out some new features like direct calling, sharing and viewing multiple images, and in-line threads in Spaces (formerly known as Rooms).
In a blog post announcing the impending shutdown of Hangouts, Google wrote;
“In October 2020, we announced Google Chat would be available for everyone. Since then, people could continue using Hangouts or upgrade to Google Chat — available as its own app or within Gmail — to take advantage of its modern features and integration with other Workspace products. We’ve continued to invest in Chat to help people better collaborate and express themselves, and now we’re taking steps to help remaining Hangouts users move to Chat.
“Google Chat offers a modern and integrated experience in Google Workspace. We have big ambitions for the future of Chat, and over the coming months you’ll see even more features like direct calling, in-line threading in Spaces and the ability to share and view multiple images. As we take this final step to bring remaining Hangouts users to Chat, we hope users will appreciate our continued investment in making Chat a powerful place to create and collaborate.”