Google To Shut Down Hangouts Later This Year

Alphabet’s Google division continues to terminate unwanted apps with the latest being its messaging service, Hangouts.

In a blog post this week, Google revealed that it would wind down Hangouts later this year, as it seeks to encourage users to migrate onto Google Chat, which can be accessed either via Gmail, or as a standalone app.

“We’ve continued to invest in Chat to help people better collaborate and express themselves, and now we’re taking steps to help remaining Hangouts users move to Chat,” wrote Ravi Kanneganti, product manager at Google Chat.

Google Hangouts

“Moving to Google Chat opens up new and better ways to connect and collaborate,” wrote Kanneganti.

“First, starting today, people using Hangouts on mobile will see an in-app screen asking them to move to Chat in Gmail or the Chat app,” wrote Kanneganti. “Similarly, people who use the Hangouts Chrome extension will be asked to move to Chat on the web or install the Chat web app. In July, people who use Hangouts in Gmail on the web will be upgraded to Chat in Gmail.”

“While we encourage everyone to make the switch to Chat, Hangouts on the web will continue to be available until later this year,” Kanneganti added. “Users will see an in-product notice at least a month before Hangouts on the web starts redirecting to Chat on the web.”

Kanneganti said that conversations for most people will be automatically migrated from Hangouts to Chat, but users who wish to keep a copy of their Hangouts data are encouraged to use Google Takeout to download their data before Hangouts is no longer available in November 2022…”

App consolidation

Google Hangouts was designed as an instant-messaging app operating across multiple platforms for its now shut down social network platform Google+.

In 2013 Hangouts was spun out as a separate app but failed to gain widespread usage, competing against the likes of WhatApp, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram.

And it is fair to say that Google has been consolidating a number of its services of late.

Google+ for example had at one stage been intended to rival the mighty Facebook (despite Google’s claims to the contrary) when it was launched in June 2011, replacing its previous incarnation, Google Buzz.

Google+ lasted until 2018 when the search engine giant announced it would sunset Google+ in August 2019 for the consumer market.

However it maintained the product for the enterprise sector and renamed it Google Currents.

But in February this year it was announced that Google Currents (formerly known as Google+) was to wound down, with Spaces taking its place.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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