Google is apparently getting ready to kill off its messaging and video chat app Hangouts, according to a report from 9to5Google. The service will be going away for good sometime in 2020, and its death isn't much of a surprise.
Back in 2016, Google introduced Allo and Duo, two apps which were essentially a separation of the two core features of Hangouts - Allo was meant for instant messaging, and Duo would serve for video calls. At the time, the firm said that Hangouts would be more suitable for businesses going forward, which eventually culminated in the launch of Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, two enterprise-focused apps that also separated messaging and video chat into two different products. These will continue to exist, keeping the Hangouts brand alive in some way.
Google's consumer-focused messaging services have been something of a mess for a while now. Allo meant to supersede Hangouts, but even that service has dwindled in terms of active development, without any major changes being made in the past year. Google seems to have turned most of its attention to Rich Communication Services (RCS) and its Android Messages app, which has actually been getting significant updates over the past few months, having launched in a web version as well.
Thankfully, Duo has gained a bit more traction, with tighter integration into Android and availability on some Chromebooks as well, so it will likely stick around a while longer.
With the impending death of Hangouts, it remains to be seen if Google will have anything new for Allo in the future or if it will meet the same fate. Last year, it was speculated that Allo could replace the Hangouts integration in Gmail for chatting, but not much has been heard about that since.