Free Google Hangouts users will be asked to migrate to Google Chat starting today

Free Google Hangouts users will need to migrate to Google Chat starting today
Google has been making some real effort to unify its platforms in the last few months, and now, another migration is on its way. 9to5Google reports that Google has now started prompting free Hangouts users to go chat in Gmail or Google Chat.

Free Google Hangouts users are now asked to migrate to Google Chat

In March this year, all Google Workspace users started getting migrated from Hangouts to Google Chat, and now the Hangouts app is going away for free users as well.

That doesn't exactly come as a surprise given the fact that Google has been working on replacing Hangouts with Google Chat since the distant 2019. The migration for Workspace users took some months to complete, but now it's done and it's time for Google to turn its gaze on free users.

If you've been using the Hangouts mobile app, you will be getting an upgrade prompt starting today, Google has now announced. The upgrade screen urges you to use Chat in the Gmail app or use the Chat app (for Android and iOS). Once you've received this message, the old Hangouts app will stop working.

Your previous conversations should be automatically migrated... at least for most people, but some conversations or part of conversations won't automatically move to the new Chat. Google has announced it will be emailing the impacted users with more info around September of this year.

Additionally, users who chat with the Hangouts Chrome extension will be directed to Chat on the web. Later in July, the users who were using Hangouts via Gmail's sidebar (on the web) will also be upgraded to Chat in Gmail.

However, the client will remain available until October 2022, and if you're using it, you will get a one-month warning before it gets thrown into the Google Graveyard.

You will have until November to download a copy of your Hangouts data using Google Takeout.

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But it's not all grim R.I.P. ceremonies for Google Hangouts. Actually, it seems this change is for the better: the Mountain View tech giant has some pretty big ambitions for the future of Chat. The app will be getting direct calling, in-line Spaces threading, and the ability to share and view multiple images soon, so Hangouts users will be greeted by an app with some big potential.

That's not the only transition with Google apps that has been going on recently. Google Duo is now getting replaced by Meet. Basically, this unification will provide a more streamlined Google experience for communications: Meet will be for video and Chat for messages.

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