Google Hangouts is a communications service that allows members to participate in text, voice or video chats, either one-on-one or in a group. On March 9, Google released a new version of Hangouts that has introduced the service strictly as a business communication tool. In the past, Google’s communication efforts in terms of chat have been unimpressive and have missed the mark with consumers, as they have launched many different communications apps to introduce new features, rather than build them into an already existing app. The result was consumers complaining about too many complicated apps to keep track of, which has scared them away from using Google as a platform all together.
To address this concern, Google will be splitting Hangouts in half—Hangouts Meet (video) and Hangouts Chat, and they both will be used primarily as business tools to make group chats and video conferences more streamline.
Streamlining services and apps is very important to today’s consumer. The simpler something is, the better. The most successful businesses and products have a very simple and clean platform. Take Apple for instance. Their phone, website, and even stores present a very clean and simple design, in terms of color, functionality and compatibility. There was a time when people wanted everything customized. In the days of MySpace, users like myself loved to customize the page, adding color, music, fancy fonts and graphics to express creativity. Now, if something has that many options, users shy away. Think about streamline features the next time you use an app or product and consider how important these features are to you and, if given more customization options, whether you would still use the product or app.