Google Hangouts won’t be culled, will remain ‘a standalone product’ – report

google hangouts

In case you went to bed early last night, Google kicked off its I/O conference with a slew of new announcements, including two more chat apps.

One, dubbed Allo, will use the company’s machine learning savvy to make chats with friends a richer experience, while Duo, takes the company’s server and bandwidth power to a whole new level, with live video chat capabilities. You can read about both of these here.

But a question that wasn’t quite answered by Google’s Erik Kay, who demoed both apps, was this: what about Google Hangouts?

According to a Business Insider report, Hangouts is here to stay.

“We’re continuing to invest in Hangouts and it will remain a standalone product,” a Google spokesperson told the publication.

While that sentence doesn’t bear much weight, and not much else was said about the company’s original conversation app, it’s interesting to look at Google’s now four chat clients, and the degree of cross-over between each.

Spaces — which amalgamates Google+, Gmail and messaging and YouTube built into one app, was also launched recently, but aims to be a small group chat client. That doesn’t sound too dissimilar from Allo.

Duo on the other hand is primarily a video app, allowing calls from one user to another. And Hangouts, well, no one really knows what Hangouts is anymore, or how it differentiates from these three. The company’s now three-year-old chat and calling service is stranded between its three younger siblings.

Ultimately, the real question remains: Is Google spreading itself too thin?

Andy Walker
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