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It's officially the end of the road for Google Hangouts
- Google Hangouts is shutting down today.
- The original Google Hangouts web app will now redirect to Google Chat.
- The web app was the last way to access the Google Hangouts service.
It’s been a long time coming, but it’s time to finally say our last goodbyes to Google Hangouts. The video chat service is scheduled to shut down completely later today.
Introduced in 2011, Google Hangouts was one of two messaging services launched by Google that year, the other being a text message service called Huddle. It was then rebranded to Hangouts Chat in 2017 with a new focus on enterprise use. It wasn’t until 2020, that Hangouts Chat was rebranded to Google Chat and the company announced it would sunset the classic Hangouts messaging service.
Although the mobile app was taken down in July of this year, the web app still remained. But it was only on borrowed time as Google is getting ready to end it officially.
Earlier this year, Google put up a post in its Help Center, revealing a roadmap for the eventual shutdown of the video chat service. The company stated:
Access to Hangouts on the web will be available until November 1, 2022. After that time, users will be redirected to Chat on the web. Users can continue to use Google Takeout to download their data until January 1, 2023.
For the most part, there’s not a big difference between Google Hangouts and Google Chat. Both offer account-based messaging and other features. However, Google Chats can’t be used for SMS or VoIP phone calls like the mobile version of Hangouts allowed.
At the time of this writing, the Google Hangouts web app is still up and isn’t redirecting to Google Chats. It’s unknown exactly when Google will pull the plug.