According to a report from 9to5Google, a source familiar with Hangouts future claims that the messaging service is getting unplugged in 2020, for consumers at least.
While it may be sad for some of us who began using the service when it launched in 2013, Hangouts has actually lost key features in recent years, such as SMS messaging, and the company stopped updating the app. In the process, Google also confirmed that development for Allo (the messaging app that had just been released less than two years prior) was being put on hold.
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 Chat offers group-chat functionality similar to Slack, Hangouts Meet video conferencing. After years of indications that such a move could be imminent, Google may finally be shutting down its Hangouts platform for consumers.
With Hangouts now being used for business purposes and Chat being developed for consumer use, the regular Hangouts app no longer serves any real objective.
While consumers may lose the well-known chat app, Hangouts will live on for enterprise users as Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.
Users complain about bugs and slow performance; it seems likely that Google won't address these concerns anymore if the rumor is true. Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet would still be a part of Google's G Suite. Better, a lineage for the preservation of your existing Hangouts chat history/data would be implied by this reveal.
How do you feel about the demise of Hangouts? What is a suitable alternative?