With the recent news that Google will be eventually be migrating Hangouts classic users to Hangouts Chat, the company has decided to put a date on the shutdown of Allo. The service will be operational until March of 2019, giving users a bit more than three months to export their data and find a replacement messaging app.
Google launched Allo a few years back with a lot of fan fair. The company pitched the service as an alternative to WhatsApp, tying it to the user’s phone number without needing a Google account. Allo offered end-to-end encryption, special capabilities with the built-in Google Assistant and dozens of other features which made it quite compelling. Despite Google’s best efforts, Allo never really caught on, topping out t roughly 50 million active users. While that number is quite bit, it pales in comparison to the 1 billion or more users that rely on WhatsApps, Facebook Messenger and other messaging platforms.
There is no direct replacement for Allo, but Google is urging those who still use the service to check out Android Messages. Many of the developers from the Allo team have been moved over and are now working to integrate some of the best features from Allo into Android Messages. The app comes pre-installed on quite a few Android devices as the default SMS app and is fully compatible with RCS.
“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. 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.”
Google’s messaging strategy has been a bit jumbled over the past few years. We’re not sure that shutting down Allo will make things any better, but it’s nice to see that Google is still working to find the right solution for a single messaging platform.