Google previously announced that its most popular messaging app, Google Hangouts, would be shutting down. In a post today on the GSuite Updates blog, Google detailed what the Hangouts shutdown will look like, and the company shared some of its plan to transition Hangouts users to “Hangouts Chat,” a separate enterprise Slack clone.
First, we need to get some vocabulary down to navigate Google’s extremely confusing branding. There are two totally separate products we’re talking about here: “Hangouts” and “Hangouts Chat.” These two products have nothing in common besides their similar names.
Google kills product
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Hangouts—which Google has recently retconned to “Hangouts Classic”—is Google’s most-popular messaging app of all time. The full-featured, consumer-grade, instant-messaging app has over a billion installs on Android, and it has enjoyed prominent placement in the desktop version of Gmail. Since it was an in-place upgrade of Google Talk, it has a user base dating back 13 years.