Google may completely kill the Hangouts brand pretty soon

Hangouts Meet Splash Screen
Hangouts Meet Splash Screen (Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • The Hangouts brand may be going to the Google graveyard soon.
  • Based on changes in the company's communications, it seems like Google will be dropping the "Hangouts" from Hangouts Meet.
  • Whether the change will be replicated with Hangouts Chat, and signify the end of the Hangouts brand entirely, remains to be seen.

Hangouts, as a product, has had a troubled history since the beginning. Envisioned as Google's end-all, be-all chat and video calling solution to take on iMessage and FaceTime, it never really caught on with as many customers as Google would have liked.

So, the company decided to shutter the classic app and split the product into two earlier this year: the consumer-focused Hangouts Chat and an enterprise-oriented video conferencing tool, Hangouts Meet. The latter, at least, may soon be dropping the Hangouts in its name, as some sleuthing by the folks at 9to5Google shows.

As the publication points out, the change seems to have been in the works for a while, based on recent statements by the company's execs. Both Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian and Google CEO Sundar Pichai have referred to the platform as Google Meet, instead of Hangouts Meet, in recent communications.

The most concrete indication that a re-branding effort is underway, though, comes from Google's support landing page, where the app is now called Google Meet. Open up the page specific to the app, and you see the same Hangouts-less branding. Interestingly, Hangouts Chat still has the Hangouts on its dedicated support page.

The Play Store listing (opens in new tab), however, still includes the Hangouts in the name, and Google has not yet made an official announcement confirming a re-branding. We'd expect something along those lines soon enough.

While it's seemingly becoming clearer that Meet will be dropping its Hangouts heritage, it's unclear if the Hangouts brand as a whole is also in for a dirt nap, or if Google has simply decided to keep the name exclusive to the customer-oriented Hangouts Chat.

Google Hangouts Meet vs. Zoom: Which conferencing tool is better for you?

  • No surprises here. Google has a pattern of building half baked solutions, leaving them in beta status for years, then just killing them off or leaving them unsupported. They move on to something else that never gets finished or polished and the cycle repeats. I knew of no one that used or currently uses Hangouts for anything. I tried years ago and it was just never a solid enough product to use. In true fashion, Google will try and re-brand it as something else, hoping the masses will have short term memory loss and think this is something new and fantastic.
  • I'm not disagreeing with any of your major points, you probably follow this much more closely than I do. But there are plenty of individuals and businesses that use Chat for IM and use Meet for virtual meetings. My team uses both every day. Not in love with the platform by any means but it is easy to use for both purposes and is completely baked in to GSuite.
  • This is mearly a re-branding of the G Suite enterprise app Hangouts Meet. They are dropping "Hangouts" from the name because it doesn't make sense for an enterprise application. Not sure why it took them this long.