Android users have been wondering about the faith of Google Hangouts ever since the Mountain View giant took the veil off its two brand new video chat and messaging applications “Duo” and “Allo” in May 2016. Today, both Duo and Allo are inching their way towards the Google Play Store for an imminent release, and in light of these events, Google has revealed more details about its plans regarding Hangouts. According to recent reports, Hangouts will shift its focus away from regular consumers and onto the enterprise market niche.
Google Hangouts was designed to replace Google Talk and make online communications more convenient for mobile users. However, Hangouts wasn’t able to attract too many Android smartphone users who, instead, preferred to rely on already popular third party alternatives including WhatsApp. Now, with Google Allo and Duo on their way, and given Google's recent announced that Hangouts On Air will separate from Google Plus to become part of YouTube Live, Android users have been wondering what will become of Google Hangouts in the near future. Google has now responded in an interview with Engadget, and according to Google’s VP of communication products, Nick Fox, Google Hangouts will not disappear but instead the service will shift its focus on business users once Allo and Duo will be available to the general public. “Because Hangouts is built on a Google account, because it’s deeply integrated with Google apps [… Gmail, Calendar etc.] it’s seen much more success in the enterprise”, adding that “It [Hangouts] will increasingly focus on that kind of group collaboration enterprise productivity space”.
While Google Hangouts will become more focused on enterprise users, and all the while Hangouts On Air will become part of YouTube Live in mid-September, Android smartphone users are expected to start relying on both Google Allo and Duo to get their text and video messages across the web. Duo – the video calling app – is expected to roll out today, but at the time of writing both Allo and Duo are missing the “Install” button in the Google Play Store, which is replaced, for the time being, by a “pre-register” option.