There have been reports doing the rounds in the last few days that Google will shut down their Hangouts messaging service by 2020. Google Hangouts is a communication platform that offers messaging, video chat, SMS and VOIP features. However, the app has not been faring well in comparison to competitors Slack, Skype and others.

Rumours had surfaced and were reported by several online media publications, but a Google executive has referred to this news item as a farce. In a tweet, Google Real Time Communications product lead, Scott Johnston, said, pointing to a report by popular online news platform 9to5google, that there were ‘no decisions made about when Hangouts will be shut down’.

Johnson went to add, “Hangouts users will be upgraded to Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.” What this actually means is that Hangouts as an independent app will cease to exist.

Google had stopped giving essential development updates to Hangouts some time back. But according to a report by Tech2, Johnston staunchly defended the platform claiming that “not only corporate or enterprise users, but individuals too, regularly use such platforms.”

At present, Google supports several apps that provide more or less the same function such as Google Duo, Allo, Hangouts, Messages, and more. Many users are of the belief that Google should, in fact, be unifying these products under one platform.