Google to merge Hangouts, Talk & Messenger

hangouts baking

Google is working on unifying its various real-time messaging applications across all devices, and the result could be a unified messenger that allows you to do one-on-one chats as well as group video Hangouts. That’s the major news out of a session with the Google+ Hangouts team at Google I/O Wednesday afternoon.

Asked about why Google has multiple different services for video chat and messaging, including Google Talk, Google+ Messenger and Google+ Hangouts, Google Product Manager Nikhyl Singhal admitted: “We have done an incredibly poor job servicing our users here.” Singhal said that Google doesn’t have anything to announce at this point, but that the company is definitely working on unifying all of these experiences.

Singhal and his colleague Chee Chew, who has been credited with inventing Google+ Hangouts, also shared a few more details about how Google uses Hangouts internally. The company uses video conferencing for virtually all of its meetings, and Singhal said that this has been completely switched to Hangouts as a video conferencing solution. “We do over 10,000 hangouts every day at Google,” he said.

So which other features are coming to Hangouts? Chew and Singhal didn’t share too many specifics, but said that they’re striving to make any Hangouts feature available on every supported device. This includes allowing mobile phone users to start a Hangout on Air, which will essentially bring mobile social live streaming to Google+ and YouTube.

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