Google has officially killed its chatting service Google Talk. It will now replace it with Google Hangouts. The move will come to effect from today (June 26), following which Gtalk service users will be switched to Google’s another service, Google Hangouts. Gtalk was started in 2005 and the beginning of the end started from 2013. When it was launched, Google introduced it as a simple chat experience for Gmail service users. Hangouts, meanwhile, is now being used by Google as a business application, now that the company has several new messaging services like Google Duo and Android Messages. Before this, Gmail users had the option of switching between Gtalk and Hangouts.
Google has been pushing Hangouts in favour of Google Talk, since 2013. However, the company continued to offer users an option to use Google Talk. So now the Google Talk app will not work, nor it will be available to download from the Play Store. In a blog post in March, Google said: “Hangouts offers advanced improvements over Google Talk such as group video calling and integration with other Google products. With the introduction of Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat, which add further improvements in meetings and team collaboration, it is now time to say goodbye to Google Talk”.
Google says that the move its directed towards improving the most popular features of the app, and those are video conferencing and group chat. For consumer-friendly alternatives, Google is moving towards Android Messages. This move comes as Google is shifting the focus of Hangouts towards repositioning the messaging service to counter workplace communications tool Slack.
Over the past few months, Google has improved Hangouts a lot. For instance, it does support group video calling and is tightly integrated into Google ecosystem. In March, Google announced that it would split Hangouts into two products: Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat. Hangouts Meet would focus on video conferences, while Hangouts Chat would be focused on instant messaging.