Google Hangouts, which is the technology giant’s alternative of Slack, has reportedly not been doing very well. And recently, some reports suggested that Google plans to shut down its service by 2020. But now, Google has denied these reports and has said that it does not have any plans to shut down Hangouts.
Google Real Time Communications product lead Scott Johnston has explained in his tweet that people who are currently using Hangouts will be transitioned to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. So basically, this confirms that Hangouts would cease to exist as an independent app, but the service would definitely continue. And like Johnston, the current users would be transitioned to Chat and Meet. However, it is worth noticing that both of them are enterprise-focused apps and users would require a G Suite account in order to use them. So this could mean that regular Google account holders may not have access to them.
In a follow-up tweet, Johnston also stated that the technology company has rechristened Google Hangouts as Hangouts Classic, adding that while Hangouts Classic would be shutting down, the company would still support for the product.
He has also clarified that the transition from Google Hangouts Classic would be invisible to existing users. While Johnston has firmly defended the chat platform saying that it is not only used by corporate or enterprise users but individuals too, his claim is not supported by the fact that the company has stopped rolling out essential development updates to Hangouts for some time now.
It is worth noticing that a number of apps from Google support more or less the same function. These include Messages, Hangouts, Allo and more. All of these enable users to chat with other users, and a lot of Android smartphones come with all three of them pre-installed. While Messages is the default message app in all Android smartphones, Google Allo can be used for its AI enhancements and Hangouts combines instant messaging and video calling. A lot of people believe that instead of coming up with similar apps, Google should instead integrate these products under one platform.