Google Hangouts for consumers will shut down by 2020

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Citing a source "familiar with the product's internal roadmap", 9to5Google reported Friday that the end of Hangouts for consumers will arrive "sometime in 2020". After launching Allo a few years ago - Allo has also been abandoned by the way - Google ceased working on Hangouts. However, given the neglect that Hangouts itself has experienced for a couple of years, one wonders how committed Google actually are to maintaining that core experience for rusted-on users.

The death of Hangouts, if the report by 9to5google, a website dedicated to Google-related news, turns out to be true, it will not be unexpected. Last year, Google said it was "evolving" Hangouts to focus on two new services: Hangouts Meet, a video conferencing feature, and Hangouts Chat, a messaging platform and Slack competitor.

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Google is now working on a new messaging app that will support Rich Communications Services (RCS), making SMS nearly WhatsApp like. The chat app was launched back in 2013, itself a replacement to three different messaging products which Google had been operating. Google Allo - now supplanted by Chat in Android Messages and Google Duo handle consumer scenarios, while GSuite consumers can make use of Google Hangouts Chat and Meet.

Google is preparing to shut down Hangouts for consumers, though there's controversy over when that will happen and what alternative existing users will be migrated to. "So while that will result in the eventual shut down of Hangouts classic (as we now call it)", he outlines, "it doesn't imply we are ending support for the use case supported by the product: messaging and meetings". Is it past time for the app to go, or is Hangouts your go-to chat platform?