Since December, no longer need smart phone manufacturers to install Hangouts on their handsets. Instead, handset manufacturers will provide users with the duo recently released.
This does not mean that Hangouts is exterminated - not yet, anyway. But Duo, end to end encryption, replacing the application in the context of all of Google Mobile basic services.
The announcement came in an email from Google for developers said. "Today we announce that Google Hangouts Duo replaced later in the GMS database applications, and Hangouts will become optional for GSM telephony products This change comes into force on 1 December 2016".
Google will continue to support Hangouts, but questions will certainly be raised about how long the company can maintain its growing collection of messaging tools. Hangouts joined not only Duo, but also Allo, and that can certainly be a matter of time before one or more of them are history.