Google has officially discontinued Hangouts. Users will be redirected to Google Chat from the app, which has served as Google’s primary chat platform since 2013.
Hangouts, a Gmail-integrated text, video, and audio chat program, has been decommissioned since July when the Chrome extension and mobile apps in Google Play and the Apple App Store were withdrawn.
The chat web app, which had previously been the only Hangouts option still available to consumers, was decommissioned today. Users of Hangouts will be able to use the app until November 1, 2022, when they will be forced to use Chat.
Chat, the replacement for Hangouts, is an instant messaging application akin to Slack or Microsoft Teams. It connects with Google Work Space and includes features such as group chats, security tools, and the ability to collaborate on files in the Google Docs Editors suite.
Users can also send GIFs, use rich text capabilities, @mentions to notify other users, and use emoticons with skin-tone choices in chats. In July 2021, Google will begin allowing Hangouts users to migrate to Chats. In June of this year, the search engine business began pushing customers to switch.
Most users’ contacts and messages, according to the statement, will be automatically migrated over, but certain data will require human relocation. In light of this, Hangouts data will be available for download through Google Takeout until January 1, 2023.
“We have high plans for the future of Chat, and in the coming months, you’ll see even more capabilities like direct calling, in-line threading in Spaces, and the ability to share and see multiple photos,” Ravi Kanneganti, product manager for Google Chat, wrote earlier this year in a blog post.
Google Talk, their first attempt at developing an instant chat platform, was introduced in August 2005. Since then, the search engine company has made repeated attempts to establish a viable messenger, with mixed but frequently disappointing outcomes.
More than a dozen attempts have been made over the last 17 years to capitalize on a market dominated by competitors such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage.
Some of the more famous projects included Google+ Hangouts, the app’s early incarnation on the short-lived social media site Allo, which had serious privacy issues, and Duo, which will be merged into Meet before the end of the year.
Google Hangouts was a Google-developed cross-platform instant chat application. It originated as a Google+ function before becoming a distinct product in 2013 when Google began combining features from Google+ Messenger and Google Talk into Hangouts. Google then began incorporating aspects of its Internet telephony product, Google Voice, into Hangouts, claiming that it was supposed to represent “the future” of Voice.
As part of its Google Workspace office suite, Google launched two independent workplace communication tools in 2017: Google Meet and Google Chat. In June 2020, Google will begin moving Workspace users from Hangouts to Meet and Chat. Following that, Gmail users switched from Hangouts to Meet and Chat in 2021, and the Hangouts service was phased off on November 1, 2022.
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