Wednesday , December 19 2018 Ausdroid » News » Google executive scotches rumours of Hangouts 2020 demise, instead users will move to Hangouts Chat and Meet

After yesterday’s rumours that Google would shutter Hangouts for consumers in 2020, it appears that Google has a product manager for Hangouts, and also, that reports of its demise may be premature.

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.

While his approach wasn’t (perhaps) all that well advised, he did give us some further information about where Hangouts is headed next:

In particular, Hangouts Classic (as today’s Hangouts is known internally) will be shut down eventually. However, with a migration to Hangouts Chat and Meet on the table, the platform will continue, and we understand that existing Hangouts chats and data will be maintained.

Although the current focus for Hangouts Chat and Meet is undoubtedly business-focused, Johnston spoke vaguely of plans to make these more consumer-facing in future.

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. However, given the neglect that Hangouts itself has experienced for a couple of years, one wonders how committed Google actually are to maintaining that core experience for rusted-on users.

As for Ausdroid, we initially used Hangouts quite extensively to network among ourselves, but it didn’t take long for us to ditch it and move to something far more capable. For us, it’s Telegram, others use Slack or Discord, and some others use WhatsApp.

Regardless of your choice, the reality is stark: Hangouts Classic – as Google now wants to call it – is garbage, and if it does eventually make way for better products, well that can’t happen soon enough.

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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bob
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bob

Google : We built a product people actually like and use
Also Google : SHUT IT DOWN!

Conan Thorogood
Ausdroid Reader

if i “ran hangouts” i would be keeping real quiet about it tbh

allanthomas777
Ausdroid Reader

I installed Duo on my friends Microsoft OS laptop. There’s a workaround for it. You’ll find the details online. It works fine. I wouldn’t go near WhatsApp, too big a hacking / bug risk. Personally, the thing that’s great about Duo is that it’s so simple to set up and use! Nothing to it! Millions use it. It’s a hollow argument to say that it lacks messaging. That wasn’t its purpose. It’s intended purely for sound and video calling, simple. There’s something to be said for apps that do one or two things and do it well as opposed to… Read more »

Les
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Les

A shambles. Duo still requires a mobile phone number to work. Kids and elderly often don’t have mobile phone numbers. Yet elderly might be a prime market for smart displays, and they want to call grandkids. But smart displays require Duo, which requires a phone number. Arggghhhh!

Les
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Les

I might add … Hangouts doesn’t have the crazy phone number restrictions. But Hangouts can’t be used on smart displays. Meanwhile, Duo works on smart displays but has no web interface, so it doesn’t work on most Chromebooks. So Chromebooks and Android-based smart displays have different and incompatible video calling systems.

Do you think it might be time for the person in charge of Google’s messaging depart to go find some different work within the company?

Terry
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Terry

Google should give up their try on message apps which is totally a failure for them in the past. Even for their current focus Android message is still not popular, at least my provider doesn’t support it. Ask people around you, how many of them know Android message compared with WhatsApp, iMessage, and WeChat.

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