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Google Hangouts shutting doors on apps by April

January 9, 2017 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by SlashGear

Google's messaging platform strategy has never really been stable. Over the years it has switched from one system and app to the next, practically promising "this" would be it. Substitute "this" with Voice, Messages, Hangouts, and now Allo and Duo, and you pretty much get the picture. Unfortunately for those who actually invested in, for example, Hangouts, they might soon find their investments rendered useless as Google shuts down Hangouts' API that third-party app developers once used to hook into the service.

Hangouts was supposed to be the be all and end all of Google's messaging platform, a single coherent brand both users and developers could rally behind. Although initially a part of the now obsolete Google+, Hangouts quickly group from group video chat to all-around phone, text, one-on-one video call, and video conferencing service. It even became the umbrella name for a stillborn Helpouts video chat assistance service.

Today, however, Google has Allo for text-based chats and Duo for one-on-one video chats. Hangouts, in their new vision, will be relegated to business use cases, particularly video conferencing. And to "streamline" that transition, Google has silently given its Hangouts API a death sentence. On 25th April, the API will shutdown and apps in Hangouts will cease to function.

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