It has been a long time coming, but Google is now officially shuttering Hangouts. For real this time. Well, you’ve still got until November to make the move to Chat.
If you’re a Google Hangouts user and this news comes as a surprise to you, we have many questions. Google has been talking about this for years, officially announcing in October 2020 it was booting everyone left on the Hangouts messaging platform from “early 2021”.
We even had a handy guide on how to prepare for the move.
Why the shift to Google Chat?
Well, Google reckons it “opens up new and better ways to connect and collaborate”. Because, you know, you can edit Docs, Slides or Sheets with side-by-side editing, and chat within Spaces. Basically, Google is Spring cleaning in Winter, removing services that are clunky and making sure what’s left are ones that actually work together.
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.
Hangouts on the web will continue to be available until later this year, however.
Users will see an in-product notice at least a month before Hangouts on the web starts redirecting to Chat on the web.
For many of you, conversations are automatically migrated from Hangouts to Chat. But please download a copy of your Hangouts data just in case. You can do this via Google Takeout.
Google Hangouts will finally be no longer come November 2022. RIP Google Hangouts.