Google Hangouts – One of the most powerful messaging app with SMS, messaging and voice all integrated into one – is shutting down on the 1st of November 2022. They have put up a notice urging users to move to Google Chat.
Starting November 1, 2022, Hangouts on the web will redirect to Chat on Web. We recommend moving to Chat now. Learn moreGoogle Hangouts
Google and its experiments to try and dominate the messaging space seem to be a never ending battle. They started with SMS app for phones and Google Talk on Gmail. Then comes Google+ with Hangouts. Now they integrate Hangouts into Gmail and kill Google Talk. Then they integrate SMS into Hangouts and kill the SMS app. So far so good. All messages consolidated into Hangouts.
Now, due to no acceptance of Google+, Google pull the plug on Google+, but Hangouts stays, now with Google voice also built in. However, Hangouts gets stronger slowly, now that it is available across multiple devices including watches, Google Glass, Car screens, etc.
Then as the competition builds up, Google still struggles to create as great a product as Apple iMessages and this time with Apple further showing off to their users that the messages coming from other Apple devices will be in blue bubbles, while the ones coming from Android will be in Green bubbles.
While at all the feature enhancement spree continued, Google also had some pressure from the unexpected quarters of the industry – the telecom operators. They didn’t like the fact that a dedicated SMS app was no longer present, and users could do all the messaging from Hangouts, which included chat messaging. Chat messaging being free (except for the overall data plan), users would choose this over SMSs leading to loss of revenue for the telecom operators.
With all those pressures and with Google+ being killed, thus having even lesser funding for Hangouts in general, Hangouts started dying a slow death until July when Google slowly started moving Hangouts users to Google Chats, yet another messaging platform from Google, which integrates into Gmail. And finally Hangouts reached the final last of life on the 1st of November.