The Google Hangouts API has been available for a while, and it's enabled various services to pop up around Google's messaging platform. However, these services and more will be shut down on April 25th as Google has announced they will be killing the API that powers them. For users, it means that you'll no longer be able to use the tools that enhance the functionality off Hangouts, such as launching a customer service call from sites that have integrated a button, use custom media effects (no more virtual moustaches and hats on your calls!) or use numerous productivity tools that have integrated.
In a post on the Hangouts API platform, Google announced that it would retire the Google+ Hangouts API, which allows developers to create apps for the older version of Hangouts video calls. The announcement was made very quietly via email and an updated FAQ, and the change takes effect before the end of April.
The move follows a change in October a year ago that means it's no longer required that handset makers using the Android operating system pre-install Hangouts as part of Google's services. However, Hangouts is now changing and Google wants the app to focus on enterprise consumption more. "Hangouts is now turning to focus on enterprise use cases". There will be a few exceptions, which will include Google's own Hangouts on Air broadcasting tools like Toolbox, Control Room, and Cameraman, along with business and enterprise oriented apps like Slack that integrate with the API. The ability to dial into a Hangouts call in progress will be left intact, as seen in the DialPad and RingCentral apps.
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