Google Hangouts: Dead or Alive?

December 27, 2018

First came the announcement that Google Hangouts was on its way out. Then came data loss and an earlier than planned shut down.

But the Beyond Search goose is confused. Is Google Hangouts a winner or an “also participated” ribbon winner? Though we know it lags behind Zoom.us, a similar service, the IBTimes reports, “Google Has No Plans to Retire Messaging Platform Hangouts, Says G Suite Product Lead.” Reporter Rohit RVN writes:

“There were rumors on the internet last week that Google had decided to shut the Hangouts messaging platform in 2020. Many opined that the search engine giant, which failed to take on Facebook and Twitter with Google+ social media platform, has now given up on challenging more popular messenger applications WhatsApp and Telegram, among others. However, Scott Johnston, a product lead in G Suite at Google (Hangouts Meet & Chat, Google Voice), has rubbished the reports about the company planning to close Hangouts. Johnston took to Twitter and claimed that Google has no immediate or long-term plans to retire Hangouts.”

So, they say it’s more of a transition than a shuttering. Johnson also emphasized that the Google plans to help existing users of the “Classic” Hangouts make a smooth transition to its G Suite counterparts. The write-up goes on to mention that Google has recently begun beta testing Duplex, an AI feature, on Pixel phones in certain pilot cities. We’re told the tool can perform advanced functions, like making dinner reservations.

Useful for many. But the Beyond Search goslings are okay just pecking around the murky pond. Low tech, but the method works.

Cynthia Murrell, December 27, 2018

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