Google has finally shut down its voice and video chat service, Google Hangouts. The messaging service that was first introduced as an independent app back in 2013 will neither be available as an independent app on Android and iOS, nor will be available on the web via its official website or Chrome extension. The service now joins the long list of products and services such as Google Stadia, YouTube Originals, Google+, Google Allo and Google Play Music among others. Also Read - Google Pixel Fold smartphone may cost you $1,799: All we know so far
Google began moving users away from Hangouts back in 2020 when it announced that Google Chat would be available to use for everyone. At the time, the company had also prompted Hangouts users to upgrade to Google Chat, either within Gmail or as a separate app. However, the service continued to be available for everyone to use. Also Read - Google Play to now support UPI Autopay for subscription-based purchases in India
Then earlier this year, Google formally began sunsetting Hangouts for everyone starting with the Hangouts Android and iOS apps that became unavailable for use in July this year. At the time, the company also detailed its plan for migrating users away from Hangouts for good. Also Read - Indian govt lifts ban on VLC Media Player: Check details
First came the Hangouts app, then came the Hangouts Chrome extension with Hangouts’ official website being the only way for Hangouts users to access the service. Now, Google has also killed the last remaining shred of Hangouts, that is, its official website.
It is worth noting that the official Hangouts website was working at the time of writing this article with users being able to send messages to their contacts. However, the website is showing a banner on top of the Conversations section that asks users to upgrade to Chats.
“Time to upgrade to Google Chat…Starting November 1, 2022, Hangouts on the web will redirect to Chat on Web. We recommend moving to Chat now,” the message says. It is accompanied by two links, one of which gives users more details about the change while the other takes users straight to Google Chat.
Notably, while Google has killed Hangouts, users can still download all of their data. The company is giving users until January 1, 2023, to download a copy of their Hangouts data.
In case, you haven’t downloaded your Hangouts data, here is what you need to do.
How to download your Google Hangouts data
Step 1: Go to Google Takeout and sign in with the Google Account you use in Hangouts.
Step 2: In the available applications, select Hangouts and deselect the rest.
Step 3: Click Next Step.
Step 4: In the Delivery method, choose how often you want to download the backup. Since Hangouts is being upgraded to Google Chat soon, pick one-time download option.
Step 5: Choose the file type and Click Export.
Once you hit Export, you will see a message that tells you that Google is creating a copy of files from Hangouts. You will receive an email when the takeout process is complete. Once you receive the email, all you need to do is download the file to preserve your Hangouts data.