Hangouts Will Shut Down This Fall as Google Moves People to Chat

For most, conversations will automatically be migrated over from Hangouts to Chat.

After nearly a decade, Google Hangouts will be no more in November.

Google Hangouts is officially shutting down in November. The search giant is prompting people still using Hangouts to migrate over to Chat as part of its plan to retire the aging messaging platform, the company said in a blog post Monday. Google already transitioned enterprise users earlier this year

On the Hangouts mobile app, people are being asked to switch to Chat. For those using Hangouts on Gmail through a web browser, Google said it will upgrade people to Chat next month. For most, conversations will automatically be migrated over from Hangouts to Chat, Google said. 

Google is also encouraging users to use Google Takeout, the company’s data exportation tool, to download their data before Hangouts ceases operation this November. 

Google Hangouts, which launched in 2013, was the company’s chat platform inside Google Plus, a now-defunct social network. Google then added chat functionality to other products, such as Gmail. In 2017, Google launched Chat, a messaging tool for enterprise customers. Chat brought with it new features such as group conversations, side-by-side editing in Docs, Slides and Sheets, and communication within Spaces, the company’s collaboration tool. 

Google is moving people from Hangouts to Chat for reasons that include security and regulations. 

Chat offers stronger phishing protections by detecting malicious links using real-time data, the company said in a 2020 blog post. US and EU regulations would also make VoIP services subject to the same laws. It’s why Google removed the call phone feature from Hangouts and issued refunds for remaining call credits. Plus, having engineers work on one chat app as opposed to two could be a better allocation of resources.