In an end-of-life move, Google has commenced steps to discontinue Hangout, and migrate services attached to its free, personal feature to Google Chat.
In the announcement, which was posted on its blog, Google says people who still use the Hangouts mobile app will see a prompt to migrate their conversations to Chat.
“First, starting today, people using Hangouts on mobile will see an in-app screen asking them to move to Chat in Gmail or the Chat app,” Google said.
However, Google added that for users who use Hangouts in Gmail on the web, it will not start prompting them to make the switch to Chat until July.
“Similarly, people who use the Hangouts Chrome extension will be asked to move to Chat on the web or install the Chat web app. In July, people who use Hangouts in Gmail on the web will be upgraded to Chat in Gmail,” Google added.
Google also said that Hangout will remain usable on its desktop site till November, and will notify its users a month before shutting down the usage on desktop, and point users towards Chat.
“While we encourage everyone to make the switch to Chat, Hangouts on the web will continue to be available until later this year. Users will see an in-product notice at least a month before Hangouts on the web starts redirecting to Chat on the web.“
It is worthy of note to mention that Google Chat is not the same as GChat (or Google Talk). Google has earlier in the month, shutdown GChat permanently. Initially, Hangout was planned to succeed GChat, but as it is now, Hangout is getting a different fate.
For most of Hangout users will have their conversation automatically migrated from Hangouts to Chat, this will make it easy for them to pick up the conversation from where they left off. Google is also giving Hangout users the option of using its Takeout service to download a copy of their Hangouts data before the service is officially discontinued in November.
As a way of enticing users to use Google Chat, the company has promised to incorporate interesting features into the app.
“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,” Google said.