Yesterday, Google announced that they are shutting down Allo, an instant messaging app for the Android and iOS platforms. This news does not come as a surprise given that Google stopped investing in Allo earlier this year in April. People will be able to use Allo till March 2019, until which users can export all of their existing conversation history from the app.
Anil Sabharwal, head of the communications group at Google, shared that they are discontinuing the further development of Allo because it was not able to attract many users. He says, “The product as a whole has not achieved the level of traction we’d hoped for. […] We set out to build this thing, that it [would be] a product that we would get hundreds of millions of people to get excited about and use. And where we are, we’re not feeling like we’re on that trajectory.”
The team working on Allo will now work primarily on the implementation of the carrier-based Rich Communication Services (RCS), under the branding ‘Chat’. This will be included within the Android Messages app used for SMS. RCS is a protocol that will potentially replace SMS and bring more advanced features such as group chat, high-resolution photo sharing, read receipts etc. in mobile messaging.
Google now wants to focus more on the development of ‘Messages’, which is described as “Google’s official app for texting”. It has brought some of Allo’s most liked features such as Smart Reply, GIFs, and desktop support into Messages. Since then Messages has shown amazing adoption and is now being used by nearly 175 million users.
Along with this announcement they have also shared details of their other two communication platforms, Duo and Hangouts. Duo is now supported in various devices such as iPad, Android Tablet, Chromebook, and Smart Displays. They recently added a feature to allow users to leave video messages and they are planning to introduce more quality improvements based on machine learning.
Google also pointed out that their expansion of Hangouts to the enterprise (Hangouts Chat and Meet) has been taken well by users. In the coming months, Chat will allow customers to include people from outside of their organization, making it easy to stay aligned with clients, vendors, partners, and others, all from one place.
To know more in detail, check Google’s official announcement.