It’s been a roller coaster weekend for Google Hangouts users, with news first surfacing that Google was looking to shutter the consumer side of the messaging platform, before the product manager for Hangouts also weighed in. Now Google has officially made a statement on the future of Hangouts for consumers.
According to a Google Spokesperson, the plan is to ‘evolve’ classic Hangouts – the name they give to the consumer side of Hangouts. In a statement regarding the future of Hangouts Classic, Google said
In March 2017, we announced plans to evolve classic Hangouts to focus on two experiences that help bring teams together: Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. Both Chat and Meet are available today for G Suite customers and will be made available for consumer users, too. We have not announced an official timeline for transitioning users from classic Hangouts to Chat and Meet. We are fully committed to supporting classic Hangouts users until everyone is successfully migrated to Chat and Meet.
Google still has a messaging strategy apparently, though it remains a mystery to most people who want to use a convenient, all-in-one service accessible on multiple devices. Hangouts has become overly slow, and hasn’t really been getting the latest features supported by other messaging platforms. There’s still hope that Google will build something of a competitor to Apple’s iMessage service, though it’s increasingly looking likely that they’re putting all their eggs in the non-encrypted Rich Communications Services messaging platform basket.
Though enterprise focused, Hangouts does get some attention, though we’d hope it got a lot more if Google intends for people to continue using it as a primary messaging platform.