Google has officially closed down its text, voice and video chat app known as Hangout, which ran for almost ten years (2013 – 2022). After prompting hangout users to switch to Google chat in July, laying to rest the Android and iOS version of the app in July, Google has finally closed the web version of hangout.  

What’s more 
According to the announcement by Google, hangout’s next of kin, Google chat, would automatically merge the messages and contacts of the users with the new platform. However, the company disclosed that hangouts users have until January 2023 to download and save a copy of their data on Google Takeout. 

What they are saying 
Google Chat Product Manager Ravi Kanneganti wrote in an official blog, “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.”

The big picture 
The shutdown of hangout continues the inexhaustible attempts by Google to build a unique and stable working text, video, and voice messaging app that competes against younger big-tech competitors like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage. 

What you should know 
Hangouts, which started as a mere feature on Google+ before becoming a standalone app, took over from Google talk 16 years ago and in its ten-year run of being a messaging service recorded five billion downloads on the Google Play Store.

As a step up from hangouts, Google Chat provides additional features such as spaces, editing documents, slides and side-by-side sheets with other users. With Google Chat, users can also send GIFs and use @mentions to notify someone in group conversations. 

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