Google continues to streamline its product lineup for users and businesses. The company has a fragmented range of software products that overlap with one another. Earlier this year, Google had Meet, Hangout, and Duo to take advantage of people working from home. And now, the company is looking to simplify its catalogue, by shutting down Hangout next year.
Google first revealed its plan to split Hangouts into Meet and Chat apps in 2017. The announcement was the first sign towards the death of Hangouts app and now, Google has announced the final timeline for the messaging service. And from 2021 onwards, the full transition will be done. This will allows users as well as G Suite users to start using Chat in place of Hangout. In addition to this, Chat will be available for free users as well. Before this, users had to pay to access Chat.
This is the last ditch effort from Google to take on Slack, which owns the enterprise communication and Microsoft Teams, which is making strides in driving Office 365 customers to adopt its messaging service and Zoom.
The messaging service is expected to get new features like integration with Gmail, chatting with external users, improved video calling and the ability to make calls with Google Voice over the summer. Google says it will carry along your past messages history from classic Hangouts into Chat as part of this transition. This is another sign of Google’s failure to own the messaging space despite being the leader in email and search.
The gradual removal of Hangout from its lineup will affect how the features work. Group video calls will move to Meet, while the messaging option heads to Chat.