Google launched their Hangouts communication service in 2013 but a new report from 9to5Google reports that the company is shutting it down, adding to the list of Google products to bite the dust. Citing a source “familiar with the product’s internal roadmap”, the report claims it will happen “sometime in 2020”.
Google has been showing early signs that such a decision was forthcoming. Last year, the SMS support was shelved and it was shifted to an enterprise focus with G Suite’s Hangout Chat as a team communication app and Hangouts Meet as a video meeting platform. Google seems to invest its resources in its recently launched services: Allo and Duo.
The service was first launched as a successor to Google Talk and was the default Android app for instant messaging, group chats and default chat service for communication within the Gmail desktop version. It later went on to integrate SMS messaging but the implementation lacked polish. Google then went on to launch another app called Messages which was eventually renamed to Android Messages but was put to an end soon. The most recent ones Google Allo and Duo were launched as a simple-to-use instant messaging app and converted the old Hangouts into a business group or collaboration communication/chat service.
Though the app is still present on the Google Play Store many have said that it shows signs of age, increasing bugs and slower performance. Many users moved on from Hangouts after Google rebranded it to Hangouts Meet, but if you are one of the few ones still using it, it’s time to move on. Google has a history of abandoning its less popular projects like Google Reader (an RSS reader), Google Buzz and Google+ Social Network. The Allo also failed to gain traction and a ‘Chat’, its RCS program is expected to launch with Verizon next year.
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