The challenge for users is that we can't really trust that a product Google releases will be here for more than a couple of years before being either altered significantly, subsumed into another profit or deprecated completely.
Both Hangout Chat and Meet are now available for web, Android and iOS users.
According to the tweet, Hangouts "classic" (as it is called internally) will indeed be eventually closed to non-business users.
Since then, 9to5Google has updated its original story with Johnston's quote. 9to5Google said that based on a "source familiar with the product's internal roadmap", Google Hangouts as a consumer product will come to an end in 2020.
Only time will tell who among them is telling the truth but for now we choose to go with Johnston's version. The Google+ Hangouts was also deprecated when Google Hangouts arrived, having been a video-focused service that was part of the ill-fated social network. Google also put its Allo messaging app on hold two years after its introduction.
But regardless of the process, it is for certain Hangouts as it now exists won't be around for much longer.
Google has been fined a total 6.76 billion euros ($7.7 billion) in the last 17 months for favouring its comparison shopping service and for using its dominant Android mobile operating system to reinforce its search engine market power. Some other examples such as Inbox and Reader come to mind.
Despite its impending demise, Hangouts is still featured prominently in some of Google's other popular services, such as the Gmail web client.
I just wish the company settled on one particular service for messaging instead of starting from scratch every few years.