After Google Plus, another Google product seems to be on its way out. Web chatting platform Google Hangouts will be a thing of past for consumers by 2020, according to a report on 9to5Google.
In 2013, Google introduced Hangouts as a replacement for GChat messenger service. Though the app is available on Play Store, Google Hangouts has not seen any update for some time now. It is still part of Gmail when accessed on the web.
It will continue to be part of workplace communication as it will stay on as Hangouts Chat on G Suite and as video conferencing platform Hangouts Meet.
“Last spring Google announced its pivot for the Hangouts brand to enterprise use cases with Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, so the writing has been on the wall for quite some time regarding the Hangouts consumer app’s demise,” 9to5Google reported late on Friday.
On Google Hangouts, users can avail services such as messaging, video chat etc. It has over the years lost some features, such as SMS.
With no update for around a year now, many reviews termed Hangouts an ageing app straddled with bugs and performance issues.
“As mentioned, Hangouts as a brand will live on with G Suite’s Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, the former intended to be a team communication app comparable to Slack, and the latter a video meetings platform,” the 9to5Google report added.
Google has been for a long time trying to bring an iMessage (iOS) counterpart for Android users. Google Allo, launched as an alternative, however, did not click with the users.
In April this year, it was reported that Google was working on developing technology to replace SMS and introduce a new service, ‘Chat’, based on what is referred to as “Universal Profile for Rich Communication Services”. The RCS Chat, as it has been envisaged, will automatically turn on inside Android Messages for texting, replacing SMS altogether.
Chat will be, however, a carrier-based service, and Google is said to have been in talks with various service providers for this.