The official end of life for Google Hangouts has been announced, with users only having a few months to prepare for the big switch.
The company has revealed that Hangouts will now be closing for all users by November 2022 as part of its bid to modernize its Google Workspace suite to be as effective for users as possible.
With many desktop and web users already in the process of being migrated over, Google is now looking to target the remaining mobile users, who will start to see prompts about needing to switch to Google Chat within the next few weeks.
Upgrade Google Hangouts to Chat
News of a switch from Hangouts to Chat was first revealed in October 2020, when Google made the latter service free to all users.
Some customers have already been switched over, with enterprise and business users on "Classic Hangouts" being upgraded to Google Chat in March 2022.
In a blog post announcing the news, Google noted that people using Hangouts on mobile will see an in-app screen asking them to move to Chat in Gmail or the Chat app from today.
Anyone using the Hangouts Chrome extension will also be asked to move to Chat on the web or install the Chat web app. Users persisting with using Hangouts in Gmail on the web will be upgraded to Chat in July.
Google notes that users will receive plenty of warning about a switch, seeing an in-product notice at least a month before Hangouts on the web starts redirecting to Chat on the web, and Hangouts on the web will also remain available to use until later this year.
The company says that conversations are automatically migrated from Hangouts to Chat, but is advising users who wish to keep a copy of their Hangouts data to download it using its Google Takeout service before Hangouts is no longer available in November 2022.
"Google Chat offers a modern and integrated experience in Google Workspace. We have big ambitions for the future of Chat, and over the coming months you'll see even more features like direct calling, in-line threading in Spaces and the ability to share and view multiple images," wrote Ravi Kanneganti, Product Manager, Google Chat.
"As we take this final step to bring remaining Hangouts users to Chat, we hope users will appreciate our continued investment in making Chat a powerful place to create and collaborate."
- Here's our list of the best online collaboration tools right now
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Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.