By March next year, Google will kill off its attempt at a social network, Google+. By 2020, a major pillar of its messaging ecosystem will be going in the same direction.
9to5Google claims that the standard version of Hangouts, a hybrid text-and-call medium, will be taken out of service “sometime in 2020.” The two newest derivations of the messaging client, Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, will remain as part of the G Suite for productivity to compete with Slack and Skype. No word if the Hangouts on Air broadcast tool for YouTube will be affected.
The publication points out reviews telling of slow or buggy experiences suggesting that Google isn’t prioritizing fixes.
Until whenever Google decides otherwise, Hangouts remains as the default instant messaging system on the Gmail desktop client. Hangouts used to have SMS integration if users linked their phone numbers, but Messages has since taken over as Android’s default SMS and RCS app. Duo and Allo continue to serve as consumer video and rich messaging clients.