It's not unusual for Google to kill services all of a sudden, regardless if that said service has been a mainstay or is relatively just a few years old. So many products, both phenomenal and gimmicky, have landed on the company's chopping block, and it looks like Hangouts is up next.
Rumor has it that Google is killing the messaging platform come 2020. Hangouts for consumers, that is. This comes as no surprise, given the company essentially halted development on the app over a year ago.
The Fate Of Google Hangouts
Moreover, Google made an important announcement last spring that it was going to pivot the Hangouts brand into more enterprise-centered use cases via Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, two service offshoots specifically meant for Google's enterprise consumers. Plus, with the rise of Google's other consumer-facing services, such as Android Messages and RCS Chat, the public version of Hangouts promptly lost its spot in Google's product portfolio.
The report comes from 9to5Google, citing a "source familiar with the product's internal roadmap." Again, this isn't very surprising. Not only has Google stopped development on the app, but it's been presumed dead by many for quite some time, and throes of people have probably transitioned away from it in the interim as a result.
That being said, Hangouts remains a prominent chat platform for many to this day, and it's still available to download from the Play Store. Many users say it's showing signs of age, however, noting bugs, hiccups, and other performance issues.
Hangouts Isn't Going Away Entirely
As mentioned, Hangouts isn't totally going to die. It will remain part of the G Suite family of apps via Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet — the former is supposed to be a team communication app similar to competitor Slack, and the latter is a video platform for meetings or conferences.
It's likely Google won't replace Hangouts with a new app when it goes away in 2020, but there's still a chance the company introduces a brand-new app as it's wont to do. Google is infamous for introducing a lot of different apps in the same category then not knowing how to support or integrate them all in a way that makes sense to consumers. Hangouts is a fine example of that unfortunate tendency, and Google must find a way to clean up its app release pattern lest it oversaturates the market with multiple apps that function similarly.