In a post on its official blog, Google laid out a simplified messaging strategy for the future. In order to offer customers “a simpler and more unified communications experience,” Google promised to support only five messaging apps going forward, down from its current suite of seven. To cut down to five apps, Google will eventually shut down Hangouts and Google Allo, while Messages, Hangouts Chat, Hangouts Meet, Duo, and Google Voice would continue to be supported.
Google’s announcement of its quintuple-app strategy comes on the heels of a report from 9to5Google, which claimed that Google Hangouts would shut down sometime in 2020. Google’s Scott Johnston—a product lead for three of Google’s seven messaging apps—responded to the report on Twitter, calling it “shoddy reporting” and saying it “is only half the story.” While Google does plan to shut down Hangouts eventually, Johnston said that Google was also opening up two of its enterprise-only messaging apps—Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet—to its consumer user base, and users of Hangouts would be transitioned to these two apps.
The blog post reiterated that “Classic” Hangouts would eventually shut down while Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet would be opening up, but Google wouldn’t shut down Hangouts until it could ensure a smooth transition between apps. The post also announced that Allo, which had its development “paused” earlier this year in favor of Messages, would be shut down in March 2019.
Source:: Arstechnica – Gadgets