NEW DELHI: While it might not be as popular as some of the other services from Google, Hangouts is still widely used. So this piece of news might come as a shock to those who use the service. It has been reported that Google plans to shut down Hangouts app for consumers sometime in 2020.
As per a report from 9to5Google, the Alphabet-owned company had stopped the development of the app about a year ago which means that next year – 2019 – will be the last of its existence.
While it’s not clear why Hangouts will be shut down, it has been hinted by Google that it wants users to shift to its RCS chat feature within Android messages. RCS stands for Rich Communication Services and Google has been keen on making it the default service for its messages across platforms.
The chat feature interestingly hasn’t been launched yet and is expected to see the light of the day sometime in 2019. Once that app is launched, it is being suggested that Hangouts for individuals will cease to exist. The details, however, are still unclear and Google hasn’t confirmed anything about either of the apps.
Hangouts came into existence sometime in 2013 as a replacement to GChat app. Google has made a lot of alterations to the Hangouts app since its launch. For instance, in 2017 it announced the addition of Hangouts Meet for enterprises. Meet is a video chat platform within Hangouts which is mainly used by organisations.
Since Meet was launched sometime last year, it’s clear that Google won’t kill that off, which means Hangouts might still exist but only for organisations. For individual consumers, chances are that the app will cease to exist.
Earlier this year, Google had announced that it is “pausing” investment and development in another of its
messaging app called Allo. The app still exists and hasn’t been killed completely. Maybe Hangouts too will have a similar fate but we will have wait and see what Google has in store for the app.