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Google Pulls The Plug On Hangouts

According to a statement from the company, Google has finally ended Hangouts for good. The app, which has been Google’s primary messaging platform since 2013, will redirect users to Google Chat.

A text, video, and voice chat app built into Gmail, Hangouts has been sunsetted since July, when the Chrome extension and mobile apps in Google Play and the Apple App Store were removed.

The messaging web app, which had been the lone Hangouts offering still available to users, was retired today. Hangouts users can access the app through November 1, 2022, when they will have to use Chat.

Chat Will Assume Many Of Hangouts’ Features

Hangouts’ replacement Chat is an instant messenger platform in the mold of Slack or Microsoft Teams. It integrates across Google Work Space and offers additional features like group chats, security tools, and the ability to collaborate on files in the Google Docs Editors suite.

Chats also allow users to send GIFs, use rich text features, notify other users with @mentions and use emojis with skin-tone selection.

Google began allowing Hangouts users to move to Chats in July 2021. The search engine company started prompting users to switch in June of this year.

According to the statement, most users’ contacts and messages will be automatically migrated over, but some data will require manual relocation. With this in mind, Hangouts data will be available for download via Google Takeout until January 1, 2023.

“We have big ambitions for the future of Chat, and over the coming months, you’ll see even more features like direct calling, in-line threading in Spaces, and the ability to share and view multiple images,” Ravi Kanneganti, product manager for Google Chat said in a blog post earlier this year.

Move Marks Next Chapter In Google Messaging

In August 2005, Google launched Google Talk, its first attempt at creating an instant messaging platform. Since then, the search engine company has made numerous efforts to develop a successful messenger with mixed but often underwhelming results.

The past 17 years have seen more than a dozen attempts at capitalizing on a market dominated by competitors like WhatsApp, Buy Facebook Verification Messenger, and iMessage.

Some of the more notable projects included Google+ Hangouts, the app’s initial iteration on the short-lived social media site Allo, which suffered from severe privacy issues, and Duo, which will be merged into Meet by the end of this year.

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