By Ben Schoon
It's no secret that Google is just bad at messaging apps. But several years ago, Hangouts was one of the most popular messaging services on the planet
It first became clear that Google had priorities elsewhere a few years ago when Allo was released, a phone-number based messaging app that was supposed to compete with WhatsApp and Telegram. That, uh, did not work out.
But the real death knell came when Google started building out Hangouts as a platform for business. From there, Hangouts Chat and Meet were born, which would eventually become Google Chat and Google Meet, competitors to Slack and Zoom
Google announced at the end of June 2022 that it would pull the plug on Hangouts entirely in the coming months, pushing users still on the messaging service over to a free version of Google Chat.
Then, earlier this week, Hangouts officially stopped working for some users. A message pops up saying that the Hangouts app is no longer available and forces users over to Chat instead.
This marks the end of Google Hangouts, after years of service and most folks recognizing that, in reality, Hangouts was pretty great at the time. From this point forward, much of Google's energy on messaging will be spent on Chat and RCS, the open messaging standard in use on Android smartphones.
But Google isn't quite done shuffling things up. Recently, the company announced that its extremely popular video calling app Duo would be folded into Google Meet!