It's official: #Google advises applying fire to Hangouts. I couldn't agree more.
Yes, I knew this was a thing, but hadn't been forced to confront it until today.
Apparently existing "buddies" are grandfathered in, but you can't establish new connections unless both of you are using Google for XMPP.
(You can, however, still use Google as an XMPP service provider, e.g. via Pidgin.)
The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!