Hangouts will Officially Retire on November 2022; What to do Next?

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Google announced in a blog post that it will shut down its Hangouts messaging service later this year. The search engine giant is, thus, urging its users to migrate to Google Chat in Gmail or use the app version.   

Google Chat Replaces Hangouts  

In February 2022, Google replaced the Hangouts app for Workspace users with its latest ‘Google Chat’. It is now set to completely shut down the older Hangouts in November 2022—shifting all current users of the platform to Google chat.   

In a blog post, Google pronounced that Hangouts will be taken down in November, and users on desktop and mobile will be asked to move to Google Chat before the shutting down. Chat data from the Hangouts platform will automatically be available on Google Chat, and users will also have the option to download all their Hangouts data before the platform is axed.   

Starting today, people using Hangouts on mobile will see an in-app screen asking them to move to Chat in Gmail or the Chat app. Similarly, people who use the Hangouts Chrome extension will be asked to move to Chat on the web or install the Chat web app. In July, people who use Hangouts in Gmail on the web will be upgraded to Chat in Gmail,” Google said in the post.  

For Existing Users  

For those using Hangouts via an extension on their PC/desktop, users will be asked to switch to Google Chat on the web or download the Chat web app. Google is recommending users to migrate to Chat within three weeks as it plans to start migrating people who use Hangouts in Gmail on the web to ‘Chat’ in Gmail by July 2022. According to the search engine giant, “Users will lose access to the Hangouts mobile app and can upgrade to Chat in Gmail or the Chat app.”  

However, Hangouts users will still see an in-product notice (at least) a month prior to Hangouts web being taken down. After the official takedown, Hangouts web will begin automatically redirecting visitors to Google Chat web.   

GChat/Google Talk, Hangouts, and Google Chat  

Google launched Hangouts in 2013 as the planned successor to GChat (which is different than Google Chat). The original GChat (unanimously known as Google Talk) was shut down in June 2022. After Hangouts suffered a similar fate later this year, the new Google Chat seems to be Google’s latest attempt at bringing a seamlessly integrated messaging service across devices.   

It has been almost a few years since Google announced it will shut down Hangouts in favor of Chat. In July 2021, Google started pushing workspace users to Chat, while consumers with personal Gmail accounts could still avail Hangouts via their Gmail space.   

Additionally, Google is planning on adding more features to the Chat in the upcoming months. The anticipated features are direct calling, in-line threading in Spaces, and the ability to share as well as view multiple images. The company is also proclaiming that Chat is better for collaboration, as compared to Hangouts. As Google notes, Chat lets users edit Docs, Slides, or Sheets with side-by-side editing, and includes its Spaces app for topic-based collaboration—another app it created for hybrid work. 

Anwesha Mishra

Anwesha has been a creative writer for a while. Currently, on her pursuit of tech writing, she is diving into the realms of technology to produce better content on the forever-changing world of technology. In her free time, you’ll find her humming tunes of her favourite shows or reading a book.

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