Google Hangouts Launches a Web Version Similar to Facebook Messenger
Just like Facebook Messenger did by introducing a web version, this Google-based instant messaging app has also followed the same path by rolling out a new web version for all users.
Earlier this year, WhatsApp launched a web version known as WhatsApp Web and using this application, users of this messaging app were finally able to send messages using PCs and tablets. Facebook, which bought WhatsApp for a fee of about $22 billion back in February last year, also made their messaging app, Messenger, available via the web. Most companies are opting for this trend with their different services, trying to free them up and eventually make them standalone applications.
Google does not want to be left behind when other major competing companies are moving forward with this new way of presenting their services to their users. Starting this week, Google announced that users can visit the official page at http://hangouts.google.com to make a free phone call or send a free message to any other person using Hangouts. The recipient doesn’t need to be using the web version to receive the calls or messages as the application syncs across all devices connected to the same Google account.
What this update means for Google
Even though Google is freeing up this application in a bid to make it standalone, the efforts of completely breaking it away from the Google domain are yet to be successful. It has yet to own the Hangoyuts.com domain; which isn’t Google’s area of strength. Google is doing this same thing with Google+ where the Photos app has been made a standalone application. Even though Hangouts is available via Gmail chat, the feel of having a big call button can make some people prefer using the web version to the mobile app or Gmail client.
On the other hand, Google is working towards ensuring that it has powerful enough brands in the market, capable of competing with other major products from companies such as Facebook and Microsoft. For instance, while Google has its own Photos app for sharing photos and Hangouts for instant messaging services, Facebook is equipped with Instagram for the photos functionality and Messenger for communication purposes. Snapchat, another major competitor in this field, is for sure coming in very strong with this application.