As first noticed by 9to5Google, Hangouts users will be losing a bit of their data next month on July 19, 2023. The reason for this is that the “Google Hangouts Album Archive” is being sunset and will no longer exist.
After July 19, 2023, the Google Album Archive won’t be available. Until then, you can use Takeout to download a copy of your Album Archive data.Picasa and Picasa Web Albums Help
As a result, some content only available in Album Archive will be deleted including “rare cases like small thumbnail photos and album comments or likes”, “some Google Hangouts data from Album Archive”, and “Background images uploaded in the Gmail theme picker prior to 2018”, according to Google.
Interestingly, there’s not much clarity around this little section of Hangouts, but so far as we can tell, the images that appear here also appear in Google Chat. It’s probably just an old, outdated system Google was using to archive attachments and such in the old Hangouts app that’s no longer needed.
The only thing in my archive were a few images I’d forgotten about in the passage of time from Google+. The page showed that they were from Google Currents, the Google+ successor that’s also now dead. If you’d like to be safe and export any or all of this before next month, you can do so using Google Takeout. Just visit the Hangouts section, check it and export. Within a day or two, you’ll receive a zip file with all of this included.