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Google Hangouts to diversify rather than shut down

Hangouts Chat is one new split-off from the original app. (Source: Product Hunt)
Hangouts Chat is one new split-off from the original app. (Source: Product Hunt)
Scott Johnson, the Google manager in charge of the app Hangouts, has taken to Twitter in order to refute a report that the same app is to shut down shortly. Instead, Johnson asserts, its functions are to be split across two new services: Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meets. Those who still use "Hangouts Classic" will be "upgraded" to these new apps as they roll out.

Recently, 9to5Google reported that Google Hangouts was to be terminated as an app by 2020. It cited a source "familiar with the product’s internal roadmap" in this assertion, as well as an earlier report stating that Hangouts development had been suspended for more than a year. However, a Google employee associated with the app, Scott Johnson, subsequently contacted the media site on Twitter to respond to these claims.

Johnson questioned the quality of the report and the source on which it was based. He asserted that Hangouts is not to be "abandoned", as the article suggested. Instead, it is to be differentiated into the two upcoming apps, Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat. These two apps were described as enterprise-focused services in the 9to5Google report.

Nevertheless, Johnson insists that current users of consumer-grade Hangouts are to be "upgraded" to Meet and Chats when they are ready for release. In a multi-Tweet thread, Johnson also stated that the 'enterprise' designation implied a "shallow" understanding of the new apps' functions and use cases. Therefore, it seems that Hangouts is not really going anywhere, but will still be present in the Google ecosystem as a more diverse set of apps offering different dimensions of the original Hangouts services.


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Deirdre O Donnell, 2018-12- 3 (Update: 2018-12- 3)