Google's chat plans: Kill Allo, upgrade Duo and invest in Messages

Google confirms Allo will shutdown in March - GSMArena.com news

Back in 2016, we conducted a review on Google Allo, the search engine's instant messaging app. Now, the company has announced that it will be shutting Allo down in March, 2019. Users have the ability to export all of their Allo conversation history by entering the app's menu, then tapping Settings.

The shutdown has been expected for some time. The company has made a decision to can its venture Allo by March 2019. By bringing Allo's features like Smart Reply, GIFs and desktop support, the company plans to focus more on Messages.

Confused? That's normal: Google's messaging strategy is a mess, and it has been for years.

Allo precursor Hangouts continues to be developed and supported by the company. "Allo will continue to work through March 2019". That doesn't mean the service itself is immediately going away.

Google had originally hoped that the more "kooky" elements of Allo would make it appeal to millenials, leaving Hangouts to take on a more organisational role for communicating between colleagues.

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The blog post also mentions that Hangouts Meet and Chat will eventually become available to all users, and the company is "fully committed to supporting Hangouts users in the meantime". When Hangouts is shut down, Google can better diversify its messaging user base across its five remaining apps, I guess.

Meanwhile, Google will focus on Messages.

We want every single Android device to have a great default messaging experience. Weve been working closely with the mobile industry to upgrade SMS so that people around the world can more easily enjoy group chats, share high-res photos, and get read receipts on any Android device. It'll keep its Duo video calling service around for the foreseeable future, though.

Today's announcement does a certain amount to change all that, but still leaves Messaging, Duo and Hangouts doing more or less the same job in a different way.

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