Google shuts down Hangouts

Google has shut down Hangouts, replacing the text, video, and voice chat app with Google Chat — an instant messaging app aimed at businesses.

Attempting to access Hangouts will redirect users to the Google Chat web app, but the tech giant said users can download their Hangouts data via Takeout until 1 January 2023.

“Google Hangouts is being upgraded to Google Chat at the end of 2022 for those who haven’t already upgraded,” the company said on its support pages.

“Some people may have already moved to Google Chat and may no longer be able to use Google Hangouts on some platforms.”

Google said some conversations or parts of conversations wouldn’t automatically migrate from Hangouts to Chat and that Hangouts data would be deleted on 1 January 2023.

However, the tech giant provided steps on how to download a copy of the data using Google Takeout:

  1. Access Google Takeout and sign in using the account you used for Hangouts.
  2. Select Hangouts and deselect the other options in the available applications list.
  3. Click on “Next Step”.
  4. The next page lets you choose how you want to download the backup. Google recommends a once-off download.
  5. Select the file type you want and click “Export”.
  6. You will receive an email once the Takeout process is complete. You can then download the file.

Google originally announced the migration to Chat on 27 June 2022.

“While we encourage everyone to make the switch to Chat, Hangouts on the web will continue to be available until later this year,” it said.

Google recommended that Hangouts web users install Chat’s standalone progressive web application or use the web interface.

“Users will see an in-product notice at least a month before Hangouts on the web starts redirecting to Chat on the web.”

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Google shuts down Hangouts