Hangouts is the one messaging platform from Google that has amassed enough popularity to warrant its existence when you compare it to things like the late Allo app, for example, but despite this, the company is still killing it off. It’s been a long and slowly drawn out process, but finally, Google is beginning to automatically sign out free Hangouts users and is presenting them with a message which has them switch to Google Chat instead.
Google actually laid out its plans to migrate regular Hangouts users to Chat earlier this year, and we’re finally in that phase where it’s planned to take action on this. If you’re a non-Workspace user who still has Hangouts installed, opening the app will show you the pop up seen below (discovered by 9to5Google), and right above your chats, you’ll have a banner message that says the following:
Hangouts is being replaced by Google Chat
Your conversations from the last year are already in Chat, and older conversations will be available later.
Clicking on ‘Learn more’ will take you straight over to Google Support where you can learn more about the switch while clicking’ Go to Chat’ or ‘Switch to Chat in Gmail’ will reload the page with Chat as the primary software. As a reminder, you can use Chat in Gmail or standalone by visiting https://chat.google.com in your browser! To clarify, these sign-outs are primarily occurring in these early stages on iOS, but they should soon be across all platforms.
Will you miss Google Hangouts, or are you glad that the company has made Chat available for free to everyone as a replacement? I’m personally very happy to never be forced to hear that horrid Hangouts message ping sound anymore. Chat feels professional and polished, and it seems to build on the success of Hangouts instead of ditching it for something entirely new as Google has done in the past. I believe it’s learned its lesson, and is ready to offer something that it can continue to grow and develop in a way that everyone enjoys over the years to come.