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

Isaac Cain
December 6, 2018

Update 12/5/18 at 9:20PM ET: Google has confirmed that Allo will be discontinued and that the focus on enterprise for Hangouts will continue. The original article follows. Not that Google likely minds much, since it's trying to build up a head of steam in support of yet another messaging effort - RCS chat.

9to5Google also recently broke the news that Google plans to dramatically change the way Google Hangouts works.

Google paused development on Allo eight months ago, noting that it hadn't gained the sort of traction the company was hoping for.

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Allo, which launched back in 2016, will soon be no longer. It hasn't received a major update in nearly one year and most of the Allo team has been moved to Android Messages. However, the sense here is that Google is carefully using the words that is letting it deny the coming demise of Hangouts, but Hangouts users will definitely find the app changed significantly by the end of the year. Android Messages and Duo will be a two-pronged attack. "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". One thing seems to be sure: if you use either of these apps, it's time to switch to something else.

As we've all been expecting over the past year, Google is killing off its Allo cross-platform messaging service. The company promises they will continue to improve the service with features that utilize machine learning.

The blog post also confirmed that both Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet will be made available to all users eventually, removing its current corporate leanings to allow existing Hangouts and Allo users to be moved over in due course. Before it's fully offered up to Hangouts users, it'll first open up an opportunity for G Suite users to invite people outside of their organizations. We know that's happening, we just don't know when.

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