Google launches Hangouts, a cross platform instant messaging service that handle videos and photos

The rumor mill was buzzing in the lead up to Google I/O about Google unifying its all its messaging services and today the company has exactly done that. Google has announced Hangouts, a cross platform service that combines all of Google’s various messaging services, which works across devices running Android, iOS and also the desktop. This service will eventually replace Google Talk, the Google+ messenger and the Hangout video chat service.

The new service will present the user with a list of conversations instead of a contact lis. Each conversation will get its own name, like a chat room of sorts and users can tag the conversation with an image as well.

Google says that it has created 850 emoji for the new service and like the original Hangout video chat service; it can convert any conversation to a video call with support for up to 10 participants.

The service will roll out later today.