Google: Hangouts won't go away despite the launch of new messaging apps

Hangouts may not be a dead app walking after all.

It sure seemed like the social app’s days were numbered after Google’s splashy rollout of Allo and Duo, its new fancy, AI-driven messaging and video chat apps. 

But a Google spokesperson confirmed an earlier report that Hangouts is staying put in the company’s portfolio of mobile and desktop apps.

“Hangouts will remain a standalone product,” the spokesperson told Greenbot.

It’s all tied to the company’s efforts in enterprise. Hangouts is part of the Google Apps for Work suite, and Google is not about to pull a product out from under business users’ feet. So Hangouts may be around for a while.

Down the road Google could eventually nudge those users toward Allo, or integrate some of Allo’s smart replies and search capabilities, with an eye toward business and productivity.

Why this matters: Google has to keep two sets of users in mind as it tries to refocus its messaging efforts. The consumer push will be with Allo and Duo, which are cross-platform apps that infuse new messaging strategies with Google’s new Digital Assistant. But Hangouts has a key role to play with the company’s enterprise goals, so it may start to look and feel more like a productivity tool over time.

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