Saturday January 07, 2017

Google Hangouts API Gets Hung Out To Dry

Google claimed earlier this year that Hangouts wasn’t going anywhere, but my skepticism continues to rise as they experiment with ways to push people toward the alternatives Allo and Duo. I imagine its death is inevitable, as Google’s new apps offer a superior way of learning everything about its user.

Draw with your face? Conference call ping pong? Not any more. Google today quietly revealed that it will shut down the Hangouts API, preventing new apps from being built and shutting off existing apps on April 25th. There was no blog post about this, just an updated FAQ and email notification to developers active on the API, forwarded to us by one of these devs. Some examples of experiences that could be built on the API include augmented reality selfie masks, polling and collaborative drawing, like the Scoot & Doodle app. But as Google pushes Duo as its consumer video chat app and relegates Hangouts to the enterprise, it’s dropping the flexibility to build these kinds of experiences.