Google announced Thursday (Dec. 6) that it is shutting down Allo, its messaging app, which was aimed at helping people get more done in their chats and express themselves more easily.
In a company blog post, Matt Klainer, vice president of consumer communication products, said that Google was working closely with the mobile industry to upgrade SMS so people can more easily engage in group chats, share high-resolution photos and get read receipts on any Android device. As a result of partnerships with more than 40 carriers and device markets, more than 175 million people are now using Messages, its messaging app for Android phones. That also means it doesn’t need Allo, which is why it will no longer support the app, bringing some of its most-loved features such as Smart Reply, GIFs and desktop support into Messages.
“Given Messages’ continued momentum, we’ve decided to stop supporting Allo to focus on Messages,” Klainer said in the blog. “We’ve learned a lot from Allo, particularly what’s possible when you incorporate machine learning features, like the Google Assistant, into messaging.” Allo will work through March of 2019, giving users time to export all existing conversation history from the app.
Klainer also noted in the blog post that Duo, its video calling app, is one of the company’s highest-rated mobile apps and is seeing strong growth and engagement across both Android and iOS. “This year, we launched Duo support for iPad, Android tablet, Chromebook and Smart Displays, giving you more flexibility to make calls from your favorite devices,” wrote the executive. “We also launched the ability to leave a video message, and will continue to bring more quality improvements based on machine learning that make video calls with Duo simple and reliable.”
As for Google Hangouts, which is the product for communications between workers, Klainer said that since rolling out Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, it has seen “great adoption” of both apps from its G Suite customers. The company plans in the coming months to enable Chat customers to include people from outside their organization.
“We’re excited by the progress we’ve made with our communications experience over the past few years and ready to take what we’ve learned from Allo and put it to work to make Messages even better,” Klainer noted. “And by refocusing on Messages and Duo for consumers and Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet for team collaboration, we’re focused on delivering a simpler and more unified communications experience for all of you.”