Shane Savitsky Jun 26
Google replaces Gchat with Hangouts today
The day dreaded by stubborn office workers around the country has finally arrived. At some point today, Google will replace its Google Talk feature in Gmail — known colloquially to most of the world as Gchat — with Google Hangouts.
- The reasoning: Google's announcement of the switch back in March touts Hangouts' better features and integration with other Google products over the barebones Gchat, which launched way back in 2005.
- Why it matters: Google's never really made much of a splash in social media — remember Wave? — so, as the company tries to position Hangouts as a business alternative to Slack or a social alternative to Facebook Messenger, it makes sense to force its core group of Gchat users to switch.
- Why it (really) matters: Look only to the elegiac think pieces on Gchat's death over the past few months to understand why a relatively featureless text chat matters to so many people.