Beginning in June this year, Google Talk, which was also popularly referred to as Gchat, will be axed from the Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) portfolio of products. Google Talk’s functionality will, however, remain as Hangouts will take its place. For the four years that Hangouts has existed, there has been a duplication of functionality between Google Talk and Hangouts.
The development will mean that only the look and feel of Google Talk will change once users are transitioned to Hangouts. Even old messages and all other communication content from Google Talk will become available on Hangouts.
One reason for Google Talk’s popularity was because it didn’t log messages and so whatever messages were shared between users remained private. On the Android app, Google Talk will completely cease functioning as well as all third-party apps that have been designed for Google Talk.
Besides shuttering Google Talk, the Mountain View, California-based tech giant has also announced that it is ceasing support for SMS on Google Hangouts. Android users are now being encouraged to use Android messages app. This is in line with Google’s strategy of focusing more on RCS messaging. The tech giant is also understood to be trying to position Hangouts as a business messaging tool capable of the same functionalities of rival tools such as Slack.
Shuttering Gchat comes in the wake of Google’s reorganization of Hangouts where Hangouts was split into two – Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. The latter will be more focused on video-conferencing while the former will position itself as a messaging app that can be used by teams. This seemed to be a reflection of the fact that Hangouts upon being launched had not been popularly received by consumers but had gained currency with enterprise users since it was well-integrated with the Apps suite of Google such as Calendar, Drive and Gmail.
Besides Hangouts, other messaging services and tools that are in Google’s portfolio include Supersonic Fun Voice Messenger, Voice, Android Messages, Hangouts, Duo and Allo.
In Friday’s trading session shares of Alphabet Inc edged downwards by 0.54% to close the day at $835.14 a share.