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Google: End clap for Hangouts

Google announced it will shut down its Hangouts messaging service in November and will start telling mobile app users to switch to Google Chat in Gmail or the Chat app today. The news was expected: it had been almost two years since Google announced the scheduled end of Hangouts in favor of Chat. In July 2021, Google began pushing Workspace users to Chat, while personal Gmail account holders could still use Hangouts through Gmail.

Google will immediately move Hangouts mobile users to Chat after showing an in-app screen asking them to make this switch. People using the Chrome Hangouts extension will be prompted to switch to Chat on the web or install the Web Chat app. Starting in July, people using Hangouts in Gmail on the web will be upgraded to Chat in Gmail.

“While we encourage everyone to switch to Chat, Hangouts on the web will continue to be available until the end of the year. Users will see an in-product notification at least one month before Hangouts on the web does not start redirecting to Chat on the web”, said the American giant in a blog post.

Web access until October 2022

Hangouts users can use Google Takeout to download their data before the service is disabled in November. Some, but not all, conversations will automatically transfer from Hangouts to Chat. Google has therefore provided instructions for users on how to use the Takeout tool for Hangouts in a support page.

Users will have access to Google Hangouts and all associated data via the web until at least October 2022, Google notes. They will be able to download Hangouts account data, including your conversations, until at least November 2022. Google plans to add more features to Chat in the coming months, including direct calls, chat in Spaces and the ability to share and view multiple images.

The American giant claims that its Chat tool is more suitable for collaboration than Hangouts. And remember that this platform allows users to edit documents, slides or spreadsheets in side-by-side editing mode. It also includes the Spaces app for topical collaboration, another app created for hybrid working.

Google had launched Hangouts in 2013 and is part of Google’s seemingly rather messy approach to building collaboration apps. Hangouts was its main chat app for years, but it also launched Hangouts Meet for video meetings, then Duo and Meet for video meetings. Earlier this month, Google decided to merge Duo and Meet.




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