One of Google’s less-endearing features is its insistence on changing which messaging app it is using every few years. Google Hangouts had a good run, but it’s now being phased out in favor of Chat.
Google already started this transition in 2019. That’s when Google originally announced that Hangouts would be sunsetting. The timeline changed, and instead of October 2019, Google started migrating business users to Chat in March of this year.
Now it’s the turn of personal Hangouts users, who have been able to continue using the app. Starting with users of Hangouts on mobile, Google will start showing a prompt to install Chat and start using that.
Then, next month, in July, Google will upgrade all Hangouts in Gmail users to Chat in Gmail.
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Hangouts on the web will still exist until November of this year. Google will give about a month’s notice to those users when the switch to Chat on the web is about to happen.
Google also discontinued GChat (Google Talk) earlier this month. Add another couple of entries to the Killed By Google website, which has been tracking all the products Google has discontinued.
The company says that the switch should be trouble-free. If you’re worried you might lose Hangouts conversation data, you can use Google Takeout to save all your chat history.
It’s the same process as if you are saving Google Photos, except you’ll select Hangouts from the list, instead of Google Photos.
Google Chat is also getting some new features. The biggest is the ability to make direct calls. Spaces is also getting the ability to make in-line threads, and to share and view multiple images at a time.