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Google Hangouts will finally be shut down. If you continue to use the once popular Google messaging app, you’ll be prompted to move to Google Chat in the next few days. Hangouts will stop working when you see the time to chat in Gmail. However, all conversations should have already been ported, so you can resume where you left off.

Before explaining what the future holds for Google’s messaging platform, let’s take a look back at how we got here. Google’s messaging efforts over the last decade and a half have been completely confusing. Google Talk (or GChat) started in 2005 and has been simple for several years. There was one service and it really worked.

Of course, the good days didn’t last. Google iteratively processes increasingly inconsistent messaging apps, shutting them down later or rolling them in to other apps.

Google Hangouts (original classic version) released in 2011 as a video chat feature built into Google+. Initially, it was a really good product with a clear vision. Google+ was a disaster as a social network that completely failed to compete with Facebook and Twitter, and the text message feature Google+ Messenger was incredibly naive, mobile-only, and involved in trademark disputes, Hangouts were pretty popular. It provided a free and easy group video chat in the browser and was much easier to use than Skype. But Google wanted it to be more.

At Google I / O in 2013, the company announced that Hangouts will be the complete messaging service to replace Google Talk. (At that time, Google already had two messaging apps, Google Talk and Google + Messenger, and two SMS-based optional SMS, Android and Google Voice). It has been available on all operating systems and devices since its launch, but despite replacing Google Talk, it lacked some features such as voice calls and online presence indicators. Over the next few years, Google has added features such as SMS integration to Android, and the service has grown to unmistakable success.

But by 2016, Google was ready to change the situation. Mobile operators were reportedly dissatisfied with Google’s control over messaging via Hangouts, so they created Google Messenger, an alternative SMS-based messaging app that has been included with Android phones since 2014. Did. In 2016, we started pushing Messenger via Hangouts for SMS and launched yet another messaging app, a very basic WhatsApp clone called Google Allo. This will be the new default messaging app for Android phones.

This was the beginning of the end of Hangouts, but its death wasn’t announced until 2018, and it took Google four years to remove it from life support. With a weird twist, Hangouts actually lasted longer than Allo, the app that nominally killed it. Despite trying to mimic the functionality of WhatsApps, it has no user base and was shut down in 2019.

Since then, Google’s messaging efforts have become increasingly ridiculous. In addition to adding message functionality to apps that don’t require messaging, such as YouTube, maps, photos, and Stadia, we’ve also released some new apps. Duo, a video chat app, was announced at the same time as Allo. Later this year, it will be integrated with Google Meet (launched as a rival to Enterprise Slack in 2017, but transformed into a consumer app). Google Chat (the app that Hangouts users are pushing) was also part of Google’s Enterprise Push at the time of its release, but is now a consumer messaging app and the spiritual successor to Google Talk and Hangouts. .. The Android messaging app has been updated to support the RCS messaging standard, but it’s toothy, and carriers, smartphone makers, and Apple are all pushing Google’s widespread adoption of not-quite-iMessage-. I’m preventing you from doing it. Killing criteria.

So it’s fair to be a little confused by all this failure. However, with the elimination of Hangouts and the termination of Duo, rationalization may finally progress.

Currently, the apps and services to keep in mind are:

Google Chat: Instant messaging and video calling app. Originally created for teams at work, it can now be used by anyone. GoogleMeet: Video calling app. Like chat, it started out as an enterprise app, but is now open to the public. Message: An Android SMS app that supports RCS (not necessarily the default app for all phones).

Although Google has a history of messaging apps, this list is expected to be out of date by next Tuesday.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.popsci.com/technology/google-messaging-apps-history/

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