Google is urging users away from Hangouts and to Chat instead

Aug 10, 2021
Updated • Aug 10, 2021
Google, Mobile Computing

Google has made it clear that Hangouts is going away. Now, they are starting to take steps to implement this change by urging users to begin using Google Chat instead. This is also not coming as a subtle move, but rather more forceful. Free Hangouts users will soon not be able to log in to Hangouts. Instead, they will receive a message recommending that the user moves to Chat.

At the moment, you can still bypass the message and continue to use Google Hangouts, but that will not be the case for much longer. Google has announced that from 16 August, Hangouts users will start losing features if they haven’t migrated to Chat by that point. Enterprise customers have a bit more time with Hangouts, as they only need to change over towards the end of 2021.

Google notes that all of your previous Hangouts conversations will also be migrated to the new Chat app in Gmail. All conversations from the last year are already visible when you log into the Chat app, and messages older than a year will be coming soon, revealed the tech giant.

Unfortunately, this migration is not going as smoothly as anyone would have wanted. Since the prompt started appearing, Hangouts fans have bombarded the Chat listing in the Play Store with negative reviews.

Google is urging users away from Hangouts and to Chat

Currently, the review score lies at a measly 2.8-star rating, with most of the recent reviews leaving only one or two stars. And the complaints levied by users appear valid and legitimate. At the moment, the new Chat app just doesn’t offer the same level of features like Hangouts. And users have pointed this out in their reviews. Reviews are pointing out that the new Chat app is missing customization options, stickers, a dedicated gallery with media, SMS support, and it doesn’t even allow you to send more than one media image per message.

However, this isn’t the only concerning part. Google had often switched apps when the new one wasn’t on par with the replacing app. YouTube music is an excellent example of this. Unlike with YouTube music though, Google has made no promises to address these issues or to bring these features to the Chat app in the future. In fact, even their responses to the reviews on the Play Store are vague and don’t offer any resolutions at this point.

Closing words

Hangouts is starting to die right in front of us, and many avid users are frustrated by the forceful push to the new Chat app. It will be interesting to see if Google will be listening to the reviews they are receiving and addressing the issue by bringing more useful (and some basic) features to the new app. For now, users can only make the change or lose their chat history while looking for another suitable replacement.

Google is urging users away from Hangouts and to Chat instead
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Google is urging users away from Hangouts and to Chat instead
Google Hangout users will see some features vanish as it moves towards implementing Chat instead, hoping members will move over soon.
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  1. Ron Ablang said on June 17, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    I think the biggest glaring difference is that Hangouts allows video chat while Google Chat is missing that feature.

  2. Anonymous said on August 11, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    Let’s be clear, Hangouts hasn’t “gone away”. That makes it sound like it’s just gone off on a world tour for a few months.

    No, it hasn’t “gone away”. It’s been AXED. It’s been given the chop. Purged. Deleted from the cloud. Erased from human memory. Just like everything else Google ever made.

    One day in the future, Google even will axe the search engine. It’s inevitable. Search is quite clearly no longer a priority for Google anymore. Google doesn’t stick with anything long term.

  3. BillD said on August 11, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    @Doug D, Google Voice has unlimited free VOIP calls. I live in a rural area with crappy cellular coverage, so whenever I’m at home I rely on GV for all my calls. I’d say the quality and reliability has been 9 out of 10, and it saves me from paying for a land line.

  4. Anonymous said on August 11, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    @Yussuf, you made two comments promoting an insecure social networking app a-la-facebookmessenger. telespam is just as bad a google.

  5. Doug D said on August 11, 2021 at 7:50 am

    Rule #1: Never depend on Google for anything.

    Google Hangouts used to offer free voice calls (VoIP) to almost any number (including landlines and business lines). Does anyone offer that now?

  6. Yussuf said on August 11, 2021 at 12:03 am

    Good, now I can switch to Telegram for once and forever. A bunch of my friends are already there, I hope Google will make someday some good decisions.

  7. Bruce Mangee said on August 10, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    Again? Remember Google Talk, Jabber, XMMP and Jingle?
    As they got enough users they cut the Jabber/XMMP part out and opted the users in. They called it Hangouts.
    XMMP connections were more difficult to obtain with each iteration of Hangouts until it died out. Jabber came never back to what is was after they ‘stole’ the users with convenience.

    That was the first time i was jbaited by Google.
    This time i don’t even care. If Hangout dies, it dies and no need to switch to whatever this new “Chat ” garbage is.
    My Dad wants me to, but i will gift him a Threema account (until they fuck up too). I am willing to pay to get rid of CHAT, good job Google. ;)

  8. Angry Dude said on August 10, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    Are there Hangout fans?

    I tried to use the app a few years ago, and it only caused a glitch when I always appeared offline.

    As most of my contacts moved to other apps, I stopped using it.

  9. Anonymous said on August 10, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Google Chats is very bad compared to Hangouts. I will switch to Telegram.

    1. Yussuf said on August 11, 2021 at 12:00 am

      Me too, Telegram is very fast on my phone, I can use it also on any other devices.
      The only thing bad about Telegram is the phone number requirement, but I like stickers so no problem.

  10. Alex said on August 10, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Since when does Google care about what the users think?

  11. ShintoPlasm said on August 10, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    Random words in bold? Check.

    1. BM said on August 11, 2021 at 5:26 pm

      @Shinto… Not random at all. I get what the author is trying to do. Would be more effective if the bolding was extended though…

      – All of “using Google Chat instead”
      – This… “Hangouts users will start losing features”
      – And, “Hangouts fans have bombarded the Chat listing in the Play Store with negative reviews”
      – Then, “users are frustrated by the forceful push”

      This makes the points easily scannable for the reader – one of the “rules” for internet writing.

      Having only part of the points bolded makes it seem random when scanning.

      1. DrKnow said on August 12, 2021 at 12:15 am

        Rather than random word bolding, start a paragraph with the point being made in bold. Then explain it.

        That’s basic English and allows easy scanning. No need to reinvent pointless rules for the Internet which actually makes text harder to scan.

      2. Yash said on August 11, 2021 at 8:23 pm

        I’m no writer but I’ve seen this current pattern in various books as well. So its not new. Whether its good or bad depends on reader.

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