Google to stop hanging out in November
Google will shut down its Hangouts service in November and migrate all existing users to its Chat offering, as it continues to invest in the platform.
In a blog post, Google explained Hangouts users on mobile would see an in-app screen asking them to move to Chat in the Gmail or Chat app.
Those who use Hangouts via web will be asked to move to Chat from July, and Hangouts will remain usable on its desktop site until November.
Google said it would automatically transfer existing conversations to Chat, and it also allows users to download Hangouts data before officially discontinuing the service.
The writing has been on the wall for Hangouts since February 2022 at least, when the company stopped the service for Workspace users.
It unveiled Google Chat in 2018, stating it would work to integrate Rich Communication Services (RCS) with the platform through the help of operators. TechCrunch reported Google had initially envisioned Chat to run as a Slack-like service for corporates, but abandoned the plan in 2020 when it made it free to all users.
In the blog post, Ravi Kanneganti, product manager at Google Chat, explained the transition would allow a better way to collaborate, as it offered a range of features including the ability to edit documents and give users access to “‘Spaces’ to discuss topics.