Google’s own chat app called “Hangouts” was released during the Google I/O conference on May 15, 2013. But 2019 might be the last year we’ll see Hangouts in the Play Store.
According to 9to5Google’s source familiar with “Hangouts” roadmap, the “Hangouts” app for consumer is shutting down at some point in 2020.
As of this writing, Google has not confirmed the “Hangouts” shut down yet.
“Hangouts” was refocused by Google in 2016 for enterprise use. Then, two new enterprise-friendly services were unveiled in March 2017: the Hangouts Chat, and the Hangouts Meet.
Hangouts Chat is a secure team messaging app, and a Slack competitor. While the Hangouts Meet is a video chat service.
Google unveiled their RCS-based service called “Chat” in April 2018, a new feature for the Android Messages app, which was built to compete with Apple iMessage.
In 2017, Google stopped development on the Hangouts app. And since then, a lot of users switched to other chat apps. But some are still using it because the Hangouts app is still the main chat option in Gmail for desktop.
Even though the Hangouts app may shut down, it was reported that the Hangouts brand name will remain on G Suite’s platforms: the Hangouts Chat, and the Hangouts Meet.