Google has retired Hangouts, two years after announcing that it would instead push people to use Chat, its Slack-like app. Google phased out the Hangouts Chat app for Android and iOS in July, after allowing users to migrate to Chat on their own in 2021. Users were prompted to switch to either the standalone Chat app or the Chat experience within Gmail after "Hangouts was replaced by Google Chat." According to TechCrunch, the last version of the messaging service, Hangouts for the web, is also being phased out.
When users access the Hangouts website, they may see the following message: Hangouts on the web will be renamed Chat on the Web on November 1, 2022. We recommend switching to Chat right now. We can still access the website without being redirected automatically, but there is a link to Google Chat that we can click to load the new messaging experience. The website may be completely removed in the coming days.
Before Google changed its messaging strategy and made it available to everyone, chat was one of the company's business offerings. Chat, according to the company, opens up new and better ways to collaborate with features not available on Hangouts. Within Chat, users can edit Docs, Slides, or Sheets simultaneously. Teams at work or groups of friends can also use Spaces to collaborate on documents and manage tasks, as it is a dedicated space for topic-based collaboration. Furthermore, because Gmail includes Chat integration, users can easily access conversations without having to open the Chat website.
Google previously stated that those who wish to keep a copy of their Hangouts data must use its Takeout tool before the service is permanently discontinued. We still see Hangouts on Takeout, so those looking to save data may want to do so now while it's still possible.