Google Plans To Shut Down Google Hangouts By 2020

According to a source familiar with Hangouts' roadmap (courtesy of 9To5Google), the service will be shutting down for good in 2020. While Hangouts is still available on the Google Play Store and as part of Gmail, Google's webmail service, recent reviews of Hangouts have been anything but great.

Yesterday we reported that Hangouts would be closed in 2020, as did a number of other tech sites, and this volley of reporting prompted Google's Scott Johnston to take to Twitter to set the record straight.

Google is preparing to shut down Hangouts for consumers, though there's controversy over when that will happen and what alternative existing users will be migrated to.

Furthermore, it is expected that Google could unveil new messaging apps, replacing Google Hangouts.

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. In the consumer market, Google has turned its focus on RCS and its Messages app.

To recall, Google Hangouts came was released back in 2013 and saw an overhaul in 2017 in the form of business and enterprise-centric apps - Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.

With Hangouts still integrated into some of Google's core products (e.g. on-demand video conferencing linked to Calendar events), it's likely that consumers will still find a use for Hangouts going forward.

With Hangouts now being used for business purposes and Chat being developed for consumer use, the regular Hangouts app no longer serves any real objective.

Vanessa Coleman