Google is continuing to unify its communications mess today, with an update to its Google+ Android application, which among other things, finally kills off Messenger. Previously, Messenger allowed the app’s users to bring in friends into group conversations for text messaging, photo sharing, and face-to-face video chat. But now, Hangouts serves this purpose in Google+ and beyond.
At this year’s Google I/O conference, Google announced it was uniting Gmail and Google+ chat under the new branding of “Hangouts,” a then already widely rumored attempt by Google to bring all its communications efforts under one roof. Over the years, Google had launched a multitude of services for messaging and video chat, including Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, and Google+ Hangouts, for example. The company began the move to Hangouts by launching a standalone Hangouts app on iOS and Android to replace Google Talk, and it offered an upgrade from Google Talk to Hangouts within Gmail.