Today, November 1, 2022, Google Hangouts is scheduled to die. The mobile app has been putting individuals out of business since July, but the last branch of Hangouts, the web app, will be shut down today. Hangouts was—for a while—Google’s best-in-class, most popular messaging effort, but five billion downloads later, Google is moving forward. Hangout’s relative, Google Chat, should automatically import all your messages and contacts by now, but this new feature is a poor reflection of the original plan for Hangouts.
The shutdown of Hangouts is the latest chapter in the mess that is Google’s messaging history. Google Talk started 17 years ago, and Google still doesn’t have a competitive messaging system. One of the reasons we’re in Google’s 10 million messaging apps is that there’s a strong, stable architecture for messaging within Google. The 2022 messaging system is a good example. You’ve got the Google Workspace team doing Google Chat — that’s Google’s business team doing a Slack competitor — and then there’s Google Messages — a competitor to Apple’s iMessage — which seems to have come from the Android team. . Is the team that makes Android more important or less important than the team that makes Gmail and other Google apps? Both have their understandable reasons for targeting information, but splitting Google’s user base across two incompatible products makes it difficult for either service to gain any traction. Besides the two big services, there is also Google Voice, and many in-app sending services such as Google Photos and Google Pay.
At one point, Google tried to fix this. Messaging should have a real home on Google, and that home should be (cue dramatic thunderclap) Google+. Back in 2011, Google’s then-CEO Larry Page decided social media was the future and launched the Google+ project across the company. The head of G+ earned the title of “Senior Vice President” making him one of eight people who report directly to Page, making Google+ one of the pillars of Google. This division was supposed to receive enough information, and launched its messaging service—Google+ Hangouts—two years later.
Hangouts, dubbed “Project Babel,” is charged with the task of — get this —unity Google Information Portfolio. Google had four messaging apps at the time, Google+ Messenger, Google Talk, the Android SMS app and Google Voice. Hangouts was launched in 2013, and at the end of the year SMS messaging was added. By 2014, the app was fully functional, and featured Hangouts, SMS and Google Voice messages all in one app, all on your phone or anywhere on the Internet. With the release of Android 4.4 in 2013, e is There is no standalone Android SMS app. Hangouts is the only default SMS option.
Google has built its iMessage clone, and it’s an awesome job. All your communications are from one messaging app in one easy-to-use app. Google also has a visible advantage over iMessage, due to wider compatibility. Hangouts is available on Android, iOS, the web, and within Gmail. That means the service works on phones, watches, cars, tablets, web browsers and even Google Glass at the same time. Google can have a good foundation in messaging today if it continues to update and invest in Hangouts.
The Hangout Room is failing in 2014, though. In the complaint that Google+ is a “ghost town,” the beauty appears for the service. Google+ SVP and the driving force behind the project, Vic Gundotra, left Google, and the news of the day means that the Google+ resources will be cut significantly, and in force, Google’s connection to G+ will end. Hangouts is stuck in a dying division, while some services like Google+ Photos managed to enter a stable landing, Hangouts did not, and in 2015 you will see constant complaints from customers that the service does not pay money the body.
Another problem with Hangouts is that it is against cell carriers. Integrating SMS and messaging services into one app is something that carriers don’t like. They want the focus to be on SMS and only SMS, so users won’t dare not to use the product. Google introduced and introduced Google Messages directly in the next Android release. With Google’s lack of organization and confidence, Hangouts’ dominance as Google’s top, single-party messaging service only lasted for about a year. Hangouts continued to languish as an abandoned zombie product, which is still better than the plethora of new messaging services Google would later release, but today, it’s finished.