According to a company statement, Google is finally done with Hangouts for good. The app, which has been Google’s main messaging platform since 2013, redirects users to Google Chat.
A text, video and voice chat app built into Gmail, Hangouts has been sunsetted since July, when the Chrome extension and mobile apps on Google Play and the Apple App Store were removed.
The web-based messaging app, which was the only Hangouts available to users, was removed today. Hangouts users can access the app until Nov. 1, 2022, when they will have to use chat.
Chat will assume many of Hangouts’ features
Hangouts’ replacement for chat is an instant messenger platform in the form of Slack or Microsoft Teams. It integrates into Google Work Space and offers additional features such as group chats, security tools and the ability to collaborate with files in Google Docs Editors.
Hangouts also allows users to send GIFs, use rich text features, notify other users with @mentions and use skin-color emoji.
Google began allowing Hangouts users to switch to chat in July 2021. The search company began offering users the option to switch in June of this year.
According to the statement, most users’ contacts and messages will be automatically migrated, but some data will require manual migration. With that in mind, Hangouts data will be available for download through Google Takeout until Jan. 1, 2023.
“We have big ambitions for the future of Hangouts, and in the coming months, you’ll see even more features like live calling, in-line streams in spaces, and the ability to share and view multiple images,” Ravi Kanneganti, product manager for Google Chat said in a blog earlier this year.
Skip to next chapter in Google Messaging
In August 2005, Google launched Google Talk, its first attempt at an instant messaging platform. Since then, the search company has worked hard to create a successful messenger with mixed but often incomplete results.
Over the past 17 years, there have been more than a dozen attempts to capitalize on a market dominated by competitors such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and iMessage.
Some of the most notable projects have included Google+ Hangouts, an initial iteration of the app on the short-lived social networking site Allo, which suffered from serious privacy issues, and Duo, which will be merged into Meet later this year.