Last year, Google added SMS support to Hangouts, along with several other features. However, prior to this, the company also had a similar feature available in emerging markets that let users add their phone numbers to its instant messaging platform. Similar to Google’s defunct Gmail SMS service, this was an alternative for feature phone users and people in regions with limited internet access.
Although this type of service may sound unnecessary in more affluent territories where smartphones and regular internet access are commonplace, it could easily be a useful tool in places with restricted resources. However, according to the folks at Google Operating System, this variant of SMS for Hangouts is set to be discontinued on July 2nd. We’ve reached to Google for clarification and will update this news article if the company provides any new details.
Update: A Google spokesperson has confirmed with us that this feature will be discontinued on July 2nd.