Google Hangouts, a text, video, and voice chat app built into Gmail, is shutting down for good today. As announced earlier this year, Google is transitioning Hangouts users to Google Chat, the company’s Slack-like instant messaging app for businesses.
As of today, November 1st, the Google Hangouts web app will no longer be available. This was the last Hangouts offer available to users. The Android and iOS apps died in July of this year.
Hangouts has arguably had a slow death since Google allowed users to migrate to Chat in 2021. The company announced in June 2022 that it would prompt Hangouts users to switch to chat in Gmail or the app.
While most messages and contacts are automatically transferred, not all data is migrated to Google Chat. The company advises that users should use Google Takeout to download and save a copy of their data. Users have until January 2023 to keep their Hangouts data.
Hangouts started out as a feature on Google+ before becoming a standalone app. The messaging service had 5 billion downloads on the Google Play Store.
While Chat can never fully replace Hangouts, it offers additional group chat features, as well as security and collaboration tools such as Spaces and editing documents, presentations or spreadsheets side-by-side with other users. Chat users can also send GIFs and use @mentions to notify someone in the group.
Google has previously said chat is a better way for users to connect with others. Back in June, Ravi Kanneganti, Google Chat product manager, wrote in an official blog: “As we take this final step in bringing remaining Hangouts users to Chat, we hope users will appreciate our continued investment in bringing Chat to life.” a powerful place to create and collaborate.”