[Update: No Decisions Made About Timeline] Google Hangouts for consumers may be shutting down in 2020
Google Hangouts is not the darling child it once was. Released back in 2013, it was a favorite among Android users. The SMS integration was very popular as it allowed users to have all their messaging in one app. Unfortunately, Hangouts has slowly been left by the wayside. A new report claims Hangouts for consumers will be totally shut down by 2020.
According to sources speaking to 9to5Google, Hangouts for consumers will be shut down sometime in 2020. This upcoming year will be the last of Hangout’s life. This comes as no surprise to many. Google has mostly forgotten about Hangouts in favor of newer messaging apps. Many have likely already ditched the app, but I know there are still some who use it daily.
Hangouts’ lifespan was a quick climb to the top followed by a slow fall to the bottom. For a brief time, it was considered the holy grail of messaging apps by some. In 2016 it was cast aside for Allo. Google split the app into two products for G Suite: Meet and Chat. Now, Allo has been abandoned in favor of Android Messages. Google’s messaging approach has always been a mess and this is just the latest entry.
Google’s many attempts at messaging apps has become a running joke in the tech community. The company just doesn’t seem to know what they want to do. Allo was a very confusing product launch and it barely made it two years before being demoted. Android Messages is their latest attempt and it hopes to use RCS to be a universal app across platforms. We’ll have to wait and see if Google can finally get it right.
Update 1: Product Lead for Hangouts Responds
This morning, the Product Lead for Hangouts responded to 9to5Google’s report via Twitter. He states that no decisions have been made about when Hangouts would shut down but that existing users will eventually be upgraded to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. (Via AndroidPolice.)
Hey @hallstephenj, I run Hangouts and this is pretty shoddy reporting. No decisions made about when Hangouts will be shut down. Hangouts users will be upgraded to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. Your source is severely misinformed. You can do better.
— Scott Johnston (@happyinwater) December 1, 2018