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Google officially shut down its messaging application Google Talk (commonly referred to as Gchat) on Monday, forcing users to upgrade to Hangouts.
Google Talk launched in 2005 to provide a simple chat experience between Gmail users, and eight years later in 2013, Google launched Hangouts. While Google started to transition Google Talk users to Hangouts back in 2013, it still gave users the option to use Google Talk, until today.
In a blog post in March, Google said, “Hangouts offers advanced improvements over Google Talk such as group video calling and integration with other Google products. With the introduction of Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat, which add further improvements in meetings and team collaboration, it is now time to say goodbye to Google Talk.”
Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat are part of Google’s effort to attract more enterprise users to its platform. Hangouts Meet is a light video meeting web application that allows users to start meetings with just a shared link. Hangouts Chat is Google’s answer to Slack and Microsoft Teams. It provides “dedicated, virtual rooms” and threaded conversations, and integrates with third-party applications. Hangouts Chat also features an intelligent bot, called @meet, that uses natural language processing and machine learning to automatically schedule meetings with Hangouts Meet and Google Calendar. Both Hangouts Meet and Chat directly integrate with G Suite.
For users that still prefer the look of Google Talk, they can opt for the Dense Roster setting in Hangouts which Google says provides a “similar experience.”