Google disables Gchat to foist Hangouts

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One of the best parts about using Gmail is Gchat, the instant-messaging function that lets you chat with other Google users and still look like you’re the most productive person in the room.

Google is replacing Google Talk. Google released Hangouts back in 2013 as a more feature-filled chat service to take the place of Talk in the Gmail sidebar, but users have been able to stick with the older, more basic service if they chose. Google has been touting Hangouts features, which include group video calling and integration with myriad Google products.

Google Talk, an instant messaging service, launched in 2005 and differed from AOL Instant Messenger and MSN Messenger because it was built in Gmail. The built-in aspect meant that users could check email and chat at the same time, on the same screen.

Google Talk had an off-the-record option, as well, which erased messages after you ended the chat.Google also confirmed that it will be removing SMS support from Hangouts and encouraging Android users to switch over to the newly renamed Android Messages app. It’s a move that speaks both to Google’s increasing push for RCS messaging, as well as the company’s ambitions to reposition Hangouts into a viable business messaging tool to take on competitors like Slack.

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