Google Hangouts, a text, video, and voice chat app integrated into Gmail have been discontinued today. Google is transitioning Hangouts users to Google Chat, the company’s Slack-like instant messaging app for businesses.
The Google Hangouts web app is no longer available as of today, November 1. This was the final Hangouts feature available to users (the Android and iOS apps died in July of this year).
Hangouts died quietly, with Google allowing users to migrate to Chat in 2021. In June 2022, the company announced that it would prompt Hangout users to switch to Chat in Gmail or the app.
While most messages and contacts will be automatically transferred, not all data will be transferred to Google Chat. Users should use Google Takeout to download and save a copy of their data, according to the company. Users can keep their Hangouts data until January 2023.
Hangouts began as a feature on Google+ before becoming its own app. On the Google Play Store, the messaging app had 5 billion downloads.
While Chat will never completely replace Hangouts, it does offer additional features for group conversations as well as security and collaboration tools such as Spaces and editing Docs, Slides, or Sheets alongside other users. Chat users can also send GIFs and notify others in the group by using @mentions.
Chat, according to Google, is a better way for users to connect with others. Google Chat Product Manager Ravi Kanneganti wrote in an official blog in June, “As we take this final step to bring remaining Hangouts users to Chat, we hope users will appreciate our continued investment in making Chat a powerful place to create and collaborate.”