Google Hangouts History
To understand this news, you have to understand the storied and complicated history of Google Hangouts. Before the catch-all communication platform launched, Google’s messaging options were scattered across a number of tools within their armada of online resources. From Google+ to Google Talk, the innovative company simply didn’t have the consolidated platform it needed to truly compete with the likes of Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.
In 2013 though, Google Hangouts launched at the Google I/O event- though it came without any announcement to shutdown Google Talk (until 2015) and eventually Google+ (earlier this year). Then, in 2016, Google announced Allo, a messaging app, and Duo, a video-calling app, separately. Again these arrived with no plans to shut down Hangouts, insisting they were separate products. In 2017, they shut down Google Hangouts API, but the app remains available for individuals users, in addition to Duo, Allo, and Google+ (for now).
Are you confused yet? Because we certainly are!
This ongoing confusion seems to be the driving force behind Google’s move to shutdown Google Hangouts. Unlike other popular messaging apps, the sheer number of Google messaging platforms creates an inherently unenjoyable experience for users looking for something a bit more comprehensive. Unfortunately, their most recent move seems like little more than a Band-aid for a convoluted messaging strategy that has gotten pretty out of hand.