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Hangouts is shutting down; Google directs people to Chat

Google Hangouts is finally shutting down later this year in November. Google has announced a timeline for retiring different Hangouts platforms and has said it’ll start prompting Hangout mobile users to switch to Chat beginning Tuesday. 

Similarly, people using the Hangout Chrome extension will be asked to move the Chat, either using the website or the web app. Later in July, people using Hangouts in Gmail will be pushed to Chat in Gmail. 

The Hangouts website continues to function normally and will do so until November. Google says it’ll warn users at least a month in advance before the Hangout site starts redirecting traffic to Chats. 

Hangouts is shutting down; Google tells users to switch to Chat
Hangouts will now be discontinued in favour of Chat. | Source: Google

For most people, the switch is a matter of tapping a button, as Google will automatically migrate your conversations from Hangouts to chats. However, users are encouraged to get a copy of their Hangouts data via Google Takeout before it’s permanently deleted in November. 

The company has already discontinued Hangouts for Google Workspace users back in February. This latest push seems to be the last nail in the coffin for Hangouts, which was supposed to be the successor to GChat, otherwise known as Google Talk, another tool that Google discontinued earlier this month. 

The migration has long been in the works, with the company first hinting at it in 2018, later making Chats free for all users in 2020 and now, to incentivise users to switch to Chat, Google is rolling out new features such as calling support, in-line threads in spaces as well as the ability to share and view multiple images. 

Chat also features integration into Gmail to make it easier to access than Spaces. Other features include @mentions, emoji reactions and an integrated GIF picker.

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