Following the launch of Google’s umpteenth messaging apps — Allo and Duo — many questioned if Google would keep its Hangouts platform alive. The company was quick to answer that Hangouts would indeed stick around, but would shift its focus to the enterprise user instead of the consumer. Today, we’re seeing the first big change from that new focus, the death of the Hangouts app API…
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Google today quietly revealed that it would be shutting down its Hangouts API, thus killing all apps that rely on the platform. Google hasn’t addressed this change in a blog post, but has instead updated the Hangouts FAQ page and sent an email to developers who were using the API. The email, obtained by TechCrunch, reads as follows:
In order to streamline our efforts further, we will be retiring the Google+ Hangouts APIthat enables developers to build apps for the older version of Hangouts video calls. This API was originally intended to support social scenarios for consumer users as part of Google+, whereas Hangouts is now turning to focus on enterprise use cases.
We understand this will impact developers who have invested in our platform. We have carefully considered this change and believe that it allows us to give our users a more targeted Hangouts desktop video experience going forward.
For the average joe, this essentially means that all the fun selfie masks, drawing tools, and others will no longer be available. However, there is an exception to this rule. Google’s built-in Hangouts apps like DialPad and RingCentral, which allow users to add standard callers to Hangouts calls, will still be available.
Along with that, enterprise connections such as Slack and Google’s Hangouts on Air integrations will also still be available after that April 25th cutoff.