It’s not certain what prompted the changeover, although it’s no secret that Hangouts hasn’t had the best reputation. For many, it’s the epitome of a confused Google messaging app strategy that included Allo and other unsuccessful services. There’s also the question of public image. If Google is going to pitch its videoconferencing feature to the corporate crowd, a name that conjures images of street corner chats (aka Hangouts) doesn’t sound very professional. This might help customers take Google Meet seriously instead of turning to Zoom or other alternatives.
Update: Google has also removed the branding from Hangouts Chat, now known as simply Google Chat (which is not the old GChat). The only thing still called Hangouts is the consumer-focused app. Got it?