GOOGLE'S LITTLE-USED ‘next generation' messenger service Allo is to close.
The writing has been on the wall for the text service, which only launched just over two years ago, after resources were withdrawn in April to allow developers to focus on the SMS-heavy Messages app which also supports RCS instant messaging, though most carriers still don't.
After speculation mounted following rumours about sister service Hangouts earlier this week, Google has now set about trying to explain its fractured messaging strategy, and Allo doesn't make the cut:
"Earlier this year we paused investment in Allo and brought some of its most-loved features—like Smart Reply, GIFs and desktop support—into Messages. Given Messages' continued momentum, we've decided to stop supporting Allo to focus on Messages."
Allo will carry on working for the happy and bewildered few until March 2019, and until then, users can download all their Allo data to preserve it for future historians to marvel at how a company the size of Google ever thought this was a good idea.
Allo joins Hangouts ‘Classic' on the scrapheap, after it was revealed that Google is working towards moving people on to the newer Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat apps. Sister service Duo is unaffected by the announcement.
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.
In reality, Hangouts has either become so embedded amongst groups that change was unlikely, or people have already moved on to the likes of Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp.
The lack of any kind of web client at launch seems to have been a tactical error too, as one was hurriedly rushed out - and it's gak.
Google has found itself with an overwhelming number of messaging options as it seems to throw stuff at the wall, see what sticks and call it spaghetti.
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.
Why Google can't accept the need for a single solution to rival iMessage properly is beyond us, frankly. μ
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