A report by 9to5Google suggests that Google plans to shut down the consumer version of Google Hangouts in 2020. Google has not officially confirmed or denied the rumor, and the site cites a "source familiar with the product's internal roadmap" as its source.
Update: Google revealed in December that it plans to make the Enterprise products Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet available to consumers (and shut down Hangouts).
According to the report, Google Hangouts will be shut down for consumers in 2020. Google unveiled a new strategy for Hangouts in 2017 when it launched the two messaging applications Allo and Duo.
Google in the meantime started to focus on an RCS-based messaging system for Android called Chat in favor of the messaging application Allo.
Hangouts for Enterprise customers was split into Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet back then. Hangouts Chat offers group-chat functionality similar to Slack, Hangouts Meet video conferencing.
The company abandoned development of the consumer version of Hangouts more or less last year. While Hangouts is still available on the Google Play Store and as part of Gmail, Google's webmail service, recent reviews of Hangouts have been anything but great.
Users complain about bugs and slow performance; it seems likely that Google won't address these concerns anymore if the rumor is true.
Google Hangouts is still a popular application with more than 3.6 million user reviews on Google Play alone. Google never revealed the total number of Hangouts users though.
The shutting down was inevitable and delayed only because Allo performed poorly. Google's new messaging effort Chat won't take off before 2019, and that is probably the main reason why the consumer version of Hangouts is retired in 2020 and not in 2019.
Hangouts users have a year to find an alternative for the service; some may not want to give Google another chance.
Now You: Are you a Hangouts user? What is a suitable alternative?Advertisement
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.