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Hangouts: What is already dead, can not die again

It's a little difficult to understand Google's strategy for its messaging applications. Hangouts, Allo, Messenger and Duo coexist and are installed on more than one billion smartphones, but a minority of users choose to use them more often. Hangouts comes pre-installed on Google Pixel, although it is a bit hidden in the software. The app's video chat API has recently been publicly terminated by Google, which should bury the messenger once and for all.

Is Hangouts doomed to die? Google is giving some signs that yes, little by little. The main point of this is the API that allows third parties to manipulate and develop functions that integrate into so-called Big G video, which will soon be terminated. More recent reports show that Hangouts should become a dedicated business application. Virtual reality effects masks, for example, should disappear from the app if this happens.

Opinion by Eric Ferrari-Herrmann

Hangouts has never been a "super cool" app.

I have no arguments against Hangouts, but basically it was never a popular app. According to Google's service policy, the messenger must come pre-installed on new Android smartphones from all manufacturers. However, WhatsApp follows as a preference among users.

One basic reason that explains this lack of popularity is that Hangouts has never been a super cool app. At first, only those who used Google+, or had a social network account, could exchange images with other Hangouts users. It was a while before this restriction was better worked out by Google.

Hangouts' popularity peaked when the app gained integration with SMS, although this was not its main feature. Some statistics from the Play Store show that Hangouts is really an app used by a few users:

Hangouts
    Whatsapp
    Facebook Messenger
Downloads Ratings
> 1 billion > 1 billion > 1 billion
on average 2.5 million on average 49.3 million on average 37.6 million

And look, Hangouts is an app full of advantages, such as the ability to use it on multiple devices and platforms. You can also use voice or video to communicate over the internet, and you can quickly change the type of call (from voice to video, for example).

New apps, renewed hopes

Google updated its usage policy in October 2016, removing the need for manufacturers to mandatorily install Hangouts on their new smartphones. Instead, the Duo app now represents Google's official messenger. This standard has been in effect since December 1, 2016.

AndroidPIt google pixel XL 9797
In Pixel, Hangouts is disabled / AndroidPIT

It seems that Google has some difficulty establishing itself in the field of messaging services. So far all company bets on this segment have failed. Lack of investment is not, as we even have a virtual intelligence assistant in the midst of Google Allo.

Hangouts can't die …

In fact, Hangouts never even lived. The service went unnoticed in its early years due to Google's poor marketing. It was later renovated with new functionality, but its aging stage was advanced. Since then, the app can barely breathe and is present on mobile phones just because it is bloatware. Few people are aware of its features.

Hangouts has established itself better in the professional industry. Google has realized this, albeit belatedly, and wants to change its focus by bringing the product to this audience. Daily, I realize that Hangouts is really present in the professional use of people. The app has more to offer in terms of synchronization, multiplatform and integration with other services compared to Skype, for example.

For common use, honestly, Hangouts has become useless. My contacts, for example, do not use and, when they use, because it is a small appreciation for these tools alternative technologies that come up every year (I am also, I confess). Hangouts doesn't have a killer function or feature, and apparently Google is no longer willing to reverse that.

Do you use Hangouts? If so, miss the app?

. (tagsToTranslate) Hangouts (t) End of Hangouts (t) Google Duo (t) Google Allo