Now it looks like Hangouts may be on the way out.
Google has indicated for years now that it planned to position Hangouts as a competitor to workplace chat apps like Slack. Whether or not that holds up remains to be seen, and Google isn't officially saying anything about the app's future, but the writing has been on the wall since. forever? The site noted Google's announcement past year of a shift to an enterprise focus with G Suite's Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet as an early sign that such a decision was forthcoming.
According to a source familiar with Hangouts' roadmap (courtesy of 9To5Google), the service will be shutting down for good in 2020.
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A few years later, Google launched Allo and Duo as simple-to-use instant messaging apps as brand new products, eventually converting Hangouts into a business group or collaboration chat/communication service.
Since then Google has continued to offer a free version for consumers, but it clearly hasn't been a high priority for the company. Is it past time for the app to go, or is Hangouts your go-to chat platform? Many recent reviews say that the app is showing signs of age, noting bugs and performance issues. That feature hasn't launched yet, but RCS messaging is expected to rollout in early 2019.
The reported move may not surprise many because the company has shifted its focus to other communication platforms. Google removed SMS functionality in the classic Hangouts app previous year.