Google Hangouts has only begun receiving much applaud due to its amazing success in the recent past that very few expected, especially due to its confusing nature.
The application offers free video chats for personal interaction, business meetings and in some cases, it served perfectly for purposes of recording webcasts. The basic offerings of Hangouts are obviously instant messaging as well as making voice calls. Even though the initial idea behind this app was amazing, Hangouts has not been able to achieve the objectives of the developers – which is to topple Skype, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and other platforms and become the ultimate app as far as personal and business communication is concerned. This application is still a top brand in the messaging and VoIP world.
Google Hangouts has been held back by poor execution where it was kind of difficult to access the service as well as learn to use it. This meant that was limiting its usefulness in some way.
Google has rolled out a new update that comes with lots of changes to this application. The changes have revamped this app and rolled out a dedicated Google Hangouts home page.
What update did Google Hangouts get?
Google realized the hard learning curve that Hangouts presents the users with and as a result, it has simplified the application and stripped it down to what the user really wants by making the choices straightforward.
This is a giant step forward with respect to usability as it will bring Google Hangouts closer to being a serious alternative to Microsoft’s Skype. In addition, since this application offers more than just text messaging services, the brains behind Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp should better be thinking of something unique to offer their millions of users.
What is Google targeting?
In the latest release, there are no official release notes for the new Hangouts home page. However, when Hangouts 4.0 for Android was rolled out earlier, a press release accompanied it. According to the notes of the Android app, it is clear that the company has now understood what it really means to have an easy to use app.
According to Google, the developers were determined to make the app much faster, simpler as well as easier on the users’ eyes. This does not just apply to the app alone; the same also applies to the homepage. In the past, Google Hangouts was somehow frustrating, especially for novice users. However, the update now makes it an easy to use app that only requires one to have a Google account and zero learning curve and training.
Why Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Skype should be on the alert
Facebook has two instant messaging and VoIP apps in the shape of Messenger and WhatsApp. The former has a user base of more than 700 million, while the latter has over 800 million. With such enormous figures, there is really nothing much to worry about.
However, it is not just any other company that Facebook is dealing with here. Google has a massive global reach and whenever such a huge company gets anything right, the competitors should really be concerned. Even though Google Hangouts still lacks when it comes to users, especially when compared to Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, the ease of use and functionality updates the app has received has made it a viable competitor and alternative to these major apps.
Google has not been very successful in the social networking and messaging world, but this time it seems things are getting better in this camp. However, it will still need a massive stumble from Facebook for Hangouts to come in and take over as the top provider of messaging and calling services.
The biggest worry should fall in Microsoft’s court. The latest version of Google Hangouts is definitely a direct competitor to Skype as well as Skype for Business. Honestly, Google’s latest product is arguably easier to use than what Microsoft are offering. However, appeal to hardcore enterprises may just be where Microsoft’s product is still winning against Google’s. Nonetheless, the new app and site could just be what Google Hangouts needs to become an unstoppable force in the free messaging, video chatting and calling.
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