Google Hangouts will hang up its boots in November
Google Hangouts' days are officially numbered, as the company plans to shut it down in November. Back in February, the Hangouts app for Workspace was replaced by 'Google Chat.' Now, other users will be migrated to Google Chat before the complete winding down of Hangouts. Users will have the option to download their data before the platform is axed.
Why does this story matter?
Hangouts, Google's another failed attempt at building a competitive instant messaging platform is ready to hang up its boots. This might be a good thing for the company that has been trying to streamline its services. With the 'Chat' set to become its go-to instant messaging service, Google could be finally staring at an answer to its rivals.
Google first hinted at Hangout's end in 2018
Hangouts made its debut as a part of the now-defunct social network platform Google+. In 2013, it became a standalone app. However, the instant messaging platform failed to gain popularity like other apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram. In 2018, the company hinted at its plan to transition from Hangouts to Chat. In 2020, Google Chat became free.
Google aims to move all Hangouts users to Chat
Google's new announcement is to move all the existing users of Hangouts to Chat. The users of the Hangouts mobile app will see a prompt to move to Chat. Users of Hangouts Chrome extension will be able to move to Chat on web or install the web app. Hangouts users in Gmail will not receive a prompt until July.
Google will let users download their Hangouts data
The desktop site of Hangouts will remain usable till November. Google says that it will warn users at least a month before Hangouts web is taken down. Once it is shut down, Hangouts web will automatically direct users to Chat. Those who switch to Chat will see their conversations on Hangouts automatically moved to Chat. You can also use Google Takeout to download data.
Google is enticing users to join Chat with more features
Google is trying to attract more users to join Chat by adding new features. "Moving to Google Chat opens up new and better ways to connect and collaborate," said product manager Ravi Kanneganti. Users will be able to edit Docs, Slides, and Sheets with side-by-side editing. It will also have Spaces for topic-based collaboration, the ability to make direct calls, and share multiple images.