New Delhi: Google will shut its popular Hangouts service for consumers by 2020, 9to5Google has reported, citing sources aware of the product’s roadmap. Hangouts were launched as a replacement for Gchat in 2013 by the tech titan but have been losing features in recent years as the company has stopped updating the app and taken away SMS messaging.

However, Hangouts still is a prominent chat option in Gmail on the web and the app also exists on the Google Play Store.

Google Hangouts is a communication platform developed by the company which includes messaging, video chat, SMS and Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) features.

“Last spring Google announced its pivot for the Hangouts brand to enterprise use cases with Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, so the writing has been on the wall for quite some time regarding the Hangouts consumer app’s demise,” 9to5Google reported.

Many reviews reportedly say that the Hangouts app is showing signs of age, bugs as well as performance issues.

“As mentioned, Hangouts as a brand will live on with G Suite’s Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, the former intended to be a team communication app comparable to Slack, and the latter a video meetings platform,” the report added.

Recently, Google had announced that it will shut down the consumer version of its online social network Google+ after revealing that private data from up to 500,000 users had been exposed by a bug that was present for more than two years in its systems.

The bug allowed app developers for Google to access profile information from users that were not marked as public.

The data which could be accessed included the name, email address, occupation, gender and age of a user. In a blog post, the US internet giant said that it had discovered and patched the leak in March of this year and added that it had no evidence of misuse of user data.

Notably, the announcement came in the wake of a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report stating that in order to avert any scrutiny from regulatory authorities, Google did not reveal a security bug that affected hundreds of thousands of Google+ accounts, CNN had reported.

(With agency inputs)