When Google launched Allo and Duo last year, it recast hangouts as a cross-platform chat app for enterprise customers. Now it's making changes to help ensure that fate. A quiet update to the Google Hangouts FAQ reveals that the sun will set on the platform's API in late April. Effectively, this means any consumer app that integrates with Google Hangouts will be dead in a matter of months.
"At the Google Horizon event in September 2016, we previewed a new experience for Hangouts focused on meetings," The updated FAQ reads. "In order to streamline our efforts further, we will be retiring the Google+ Hangouts API." According to Google, the integration simply isn't needed anymore. "Hangouts is now turning to focus on enterprise use cases."
This is hardly a surprise -- Google outlined its vision for Hangouts' new market early last year -- but it is a bummer for apps that rely on the platform like PingPong Hangouts, Draw with your Face and Roll20. Still, some apps will still have access to Hangouts, but only if they qualify as enterprise communication tools, like Slack. Bummer.