It’s Finally Time to Let Go of Gchat and Embrace Google Hangouts

IsaacMao via Flickr // CC BY 2.0
IsaacMao via Flickr // CC BY 2.0 / IsaacMao via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This summer, Gchat loyalists will finally be forced to embrace the future and switch to Hangouts. As The Verge reports, Google is getting rid of the popular messaging service—officially known as Google Talk—on June 26, nearly 12 years after its initial release.

The move was inevitable: Google first introduced Hangouts in 2013, billing it as an improved alternative to Google Talk that included group video calling and messaging as well as integration with various other Google products. Gmail users received invitations to switch to Hangouts, and many did—but others opted to stick with the more familiar chat service.

When the permanent switch to Hangouts happens, users will still be able to chat within Gmail and they won’t lose their contacts. And for users who have clung to Gchat because they prefer Google Talk's smaller text windows, there’s a "Dense Roster" setting in Hangouts that "provides a similar experience" (Google promises). That said, mobile users might have to make some adjustments, since the Google Talk for Android app will no longer work, nor will any other third-party Talk apps. (Android users are advised to install Hangouts instead.)

Mourning the transition? Keep in mind that progress often comes at a cost—but in this case, the only price is nostalgia. To quote Google’s own blog post announcing the change, “it is now time to say goodbye to Google Talk.”

[h/t The Verge]