Google to shut down Hangouts by 2020

Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts Google Play

The tech giant Google has decided to shut down its popular messaging service, Hangouts, by 2020. It is another addition to the list of services that the company stopped completely.

The service, which was launched in 2013, has been losing features in recent years as the company stopped updating the app and has taken away the SMS messaging. Many reviewers also stated that the service is showing signs of age, bug and performance issues.

Hangouts is still used as chat service in Gmail on the web and it can be downloaded from Google Play Store.

As reported by 9to5Google, "Last spring Google announced its pivot for the Hangouts brand to enterprise use cases with Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, so the writing has been on the wall for quite some time regarding the Hangouts consumer app's demise."

It also added, "Hangouts as a brand will live on with G Suite's Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, the former intended to be a team communication app comparable to Slack and the latter a video meetings platform."

Over the years Google has killed several products and here is the list of those services.

  • Google Buzz: It was introduced in 2010 and discontinued in 2011. This product was a clone of Facebook and people could share photos videos and links directly to their contacts or the public at large
  • Picnik: It was an online image editing tool. In 2012, Google replaced it with its own Google+ Photos, which was again replaced with much better and more secured Google Photos.
  • Picasa: It was the best Google's desktop photo library tool to organize digital photos. But, it was shut down in 2016.
  • Google Answers: In 2006 the company killed this service. It was not like Stack Exchange, Quora as this service incentivized good answers by offering up cash payments.
  • Google Wave: From 2010 and 2012 it was working but after the shutdown Apache took over some of the protocols.
  • Google Helpouts: It was launched in November 2013. Through this service, users were allowed to share their expertise through live video and provide real-time help from their computers or mobile devices. But, Googles closed this service in 2015.
  • Google Notebook: It was discontinued in 2012, but it lived a long and full life by Google standards.
  • iGoogle: It was initially launched as Google Personalized Homepage. The service had a good run from 2005-2013.
  • Google Reader: It was launched in 2005 and was stopped on July 2013. It was an RSS/Atom feed aggregator operated by Google.