By Emily Gillespie
November 30, 2018

Google is planning to kill off the consumer version of its chat application Hangouts in 2020, according to 9to5Google which spoke with a source familiar with the company’s plans.

Google Hangout users will probably not be surprised by the news, as 9to5Google reports that the company hasn’t made any changes to the consumer-facing app for more than a year.

In March of last year, Google made big changes to Hangouts in an effort to pull in more business users. The company added business-facing video and chat functions: Google Hangouts Meet, meant for corporate video conferencing, and Google Hangout Chats, aimed at inter-office messaging.

Google previously announced plans for a consumer messaging app, simply called Chat, which would rival Apple’s iMessage by allowing Android users to use different networks to chat for free, TechCrunch reports. Chat is Google’s consumer name for messaging standard RCS (Rich Communication Services), messaging standard

Google has a fraught history with messaging apps. Two years after first introducing its messaging app Allo, TechCrunch reports that the company “paused” work. The app prompted concerns over privacy due to an “incognito” mode which was created as an opt-in feature instead of the default setting. Last year it also shut down a messaging app called Spaces less than a year after debuting it.

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