This really isn’t surprising - it just never took off. To this day, I still use Hangouts more. But that appears to slowly be on it’s way out, too
Yeah, I’m not sure what Google wants me to use. They’re focusing on Messages but without RCS it’s just an SMS client which is rubbish
I didn’t realise Google were planning on shutting down Hangouts also. That would explain why so many people I know are moving over to Telegram
Bet Google wish they had bought WhatsApp!
I’m a Hangouts user too but not sure which way to go now. I use WhatsApp with a lot of contacts but I’m not a massive fan.
They should really step up their messaging game and actually deliver something decent; there’s a huge gap in the market at the moment.
Skype used to be the leader in this space but became a shit-show since Microsoft bought it (what a surprise).
The other messengers don’t really fit the use-case as they are all mobile-first and not really usable on desktop or in the enterprise.
Don’t get me started on RCS. It’s a disaster and will never take off; instead it’ll become just another vector for spam and malware, even worse than SMS/MMS.
It’s a really tough nut to crack, I think.
I remember when it seemed that everyone wanted Hangouts to be a merged SMS/IM thing. Basically, it seemed like they wanted it to be iMessage. But most of that chatter must have come from the USA, because iMessage isn’t popular here.
And for me - I don’t want a combined SMS/IM service. SMS is a dying technology. I don’t mind services using my contacts list to find people I know, but that just as easily happens through email, Twitter, Instagram, or anything else. It doesn’t have to be SMS. In fact, the way that should work is that it should simply prioritise people who I have multiple contacts for, so if I have someone’s email and phone number it’s weighted higher than just one.
A simple, always connected lightweight web based client is a must, too. I like the way Hangouts does this, and I hate the way WhatsApp does it, requiring regular QR scans.
Unfortunately, despite being bloated and annoying, I think Facebook is probably going to dominate this space. Between WhatsApp (people you know), Facebook Messenger, and Instagram DMs, they’ve pretty much sown up most kinds of social relationships.
I think there will always be a place for SMS as it works universally. I refuse to download a million different messaging apps when I can use SMS to send to anybody.
I suppose it depends - I’m very wary of SMS because I message a lot of friends in different countries, and the networks still charge a fee for SMS abroad. So it doesn’t work at all for me, if I have to remember which friends are where! Lots of friends travel, and will buy a foreign SIM when abroad, so it’s easier to use IM services.
the networks still charge a fee for SMS abroad
There is a solution.
‘Simplify’… ‘Will support only five messaging apps’
Ooookay. Well, that’s this month’s idea anyway. Next month, anything could happen… I wish google would just pick an IM app and stick to it.
The problem I find with all of these messaging apps, is that all my contacts are spread about across a bunch. Most people I know use iMessage, but some (Android folk) are only on WhatsApp, and a couple seem to only use Facebook Messenger!
Ideally, I’d use Signal, but no-one I know is on it
Signal is great, I’ve been fighting a losing battle trying to get people I know to use it for years now. At least it can replace my default SMS app also.
Isn’t it? Granted, a lot of my friends are on iOS, but it feels like this is one of the most popular messaging services in the UK (can’t find any stats, so I could be wildly wrong).
Facebook messenger is still the one a lot of people use (seemingly more than WhatsApp in my case).
Google has dropped the ball so many times with their messaging apps (some of which were actually really good and had massive potential) - But I think they’ll always be a second rate operator in this space now (especially with people trusting Google less and less).
I’d happily see FB messenger and WhatsApp die as well, providing there was a 3rd party app that people used, which was decent!
I liked the look of Wire but suffered same challenge as you with Signal.
Me too. I don’t really like either but they have scale already and it’s hard to get enough people to use something else.
I thought Allo and Duo were supposed to be replacing all the other disperate Google chat/messaging/whatever apps. Evedentially not!
Same but Threema no one even knew about it until I told them about it and they didn’t care enough about a messenger to pay for it
I was surprised by the ‘iMessage isn’t popular here’ as well. iMessage is essentially invisible to users of iOS devices and is used by default over SMS for Apple device to Apple device messages. There’s an estimated 38.1 million iPhone’s alone sold 2011-2017 and Apple commands roughly 39% of the mobile phone market (as of 2017) in the UK.
Even if we consider that some people won’t use iMessage because they simply don’t use the Messages app or have all their contacts in WhatsApp, etc., you’re still looking at one of the most widely available messaging platforms in the UK. Globally, even as of 2016, there were around 200,000 messages a second going via iMessage.
Given the GSMA, vendor, and carrier buy in RCS may well see itself as the replacement for SMS. However, it will likely remain a ‘fallback’ for many people because it’s hamstrung by having to comply with regulations (e.g. no end-to-end encryption as carriers must provide for lawful interception).
In this situation I could even see Apple supporting RCS as an alternative to SMS/MMS with iMessage still preferred where available.