If you use Google Hangouts, you may want to begin looking into an alternative messaging service.
Google will shut down Hangouts for consumers in 2020, says a source speaking to 9to5Google. There’s no word on a more specific timeframe yet, so it’s unclear how long into 2020 that Hangouts will survive.
Hangouts launched in mid-2013 as Google’s latest messaging service. As we all know, though, Google ended up releasing a few more messaging services in the following years, like Allo and Android Messages. Now Google appears to be pushing Android Messages as its consumer-focused messaging product, offering features like RCS and a web version, while Hangouts is the business-centric messaging offering. As such, it’s no surprise to hear that Hangouts for consumers will soon be killed off.
Do you still use Google Hangouts?
UPDATE: Scott Johnston, who runs Hangouts at Google, responded to this rumor to say that there’s been “no decisions made about when Hangouts will be shut down.” Johnston goes on to say that Hangouts users will be migrated to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet and that while that’ll result in the eventual shutdown of the “classic” version of Hangouts, “it doesn’t imply that we are ending support for the use case supported by the product: messaging and meetings.”
2/ So while that will result in the eventual shut down of Hangouts classic (as we now call it), it doesn’t imply we are ending support for the use case supported by the product: messaging and meetings.
— Scott Johnston (@happyinwater) December 1, 2018
UPDATE 2: A Google spokesperson gave us the following statement regarding this Hangouts news:
“In March 2017, we announced plans to evolve classic Hangouts to focus on two experiences that help bring teams together: Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. Both Chat and Meet are available today for G Suite customers and will be made available for consumer users, too. We have not announced an official timeline for transitioning users from classic Hangouts to Chat and Meet. We are fully committed to supporting classic Hangouts users until everyone is successfully migrated to Chat and Meet.”