Google Hangouts set for final shutdown

Once an office darling, Google’s cross-platform messaging service is set for retirement it will shut down for good in November 2022.

Starting immediately, remaining Google Hangouts users will be urged to switch to Google’s successive messaging app, Google Chat, the company said in a blog post. Their conversations will migrate to Google Chat automatically

Some could date back to 2005 for those who used Google Talk, the company’s first-ever instant messaging service that Hangouts replaced. Before Hangouts is no longer available, users can also download their data via Google Takeout.

The company said that Google Chat offers a “better way to collaborate” by allowing users to edit Docs, Slides, or Sheets side by side while continuing a conversation. Switching to Chat also makes “expressing yourself more fun” through various emoji selections, text emphasis options, @mentions for group chats, or sending a GIF.

The complete shutdown of Hangouts has been a long time coming as users have been encouraged to switch to its newer iterations for years. It was Google’s main messaging service from 2013 until 2016, before the company released two apps to replace it, Google Chats and Google Meets. Both are part of a larger Google Workspace platform that also consists of services like Gmail, Contacts, and Calendar.

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