Google Hangouts seems to be on its way out. Citing familiar sources, the 9to5Google site says that by 2020, Google’s Hangouts for consumers would shutdown.
In recent years, Hangouts for consumers has undergone a lot of changes, and last year the company announced that it would focus on Hangout Chats corporate services and Hangouts Meet for video conferencing. This latter move was seen by some as a sign that the end of the GChat’s successor was near.
According to 9to5Google: “Given Google’s abandonment of the app in terms of development and its eventual demise, many have already transitioned to other alternatives. But Hangouts is still a prominent chat option on Gmail on the web, and the app remains available on the Google Play Store. Many recent reviews in the store say the app is showing signs of age, citing bugs and performance issues.”
Google has indicated for years that it planned to position Hangouts as a team communication app like Slack. However, as noted by 9to5Google, there were no major app development moves and the company still removed SMS support in May last year.
At the time, as The Verge notes , the move made sense, considering the significant number of chat apps under Google’s umbrella, including Google Duo, Android Messages, and Google Allo.
Considering the alleged death of Hangouts, whoever uses the app still has a year to get a new alternative.