Google has confirmed it will be shutting down the Allo messaging app in March 2019. Allo was launched back in in 2016 along with the Duo video-calling app, but it has failed to live up to the hype and did not prove much of a comeback for Google in the messaging space.
Allo was supposed to be a smarter messaging app, and came integrated with the Google Assistant as well. However earlier this year, Google had paused investment into the Allo app, and instead brought some of its features to Android Messages app, which included Smart Reply, GIFs, desktop support etc.
In a blog post, Google said that “given Messages’ continued momentum, we’ve decided to stop supporting Allo to focus on Messages.” Allo will work only till March 2019, and until then users will be able to export all of the existing conversation history from the app.
Google’s help page notes that once Allo is no longer supported, which will be after March 2019, “All your Allo messages messages, including incognito messages, as well as your backups will be deleted. Until Allo is no longer supported, you can download your chats or media.”
Duo, the video-calling app has been much more successful and will continue to remain in existence. In fact, Google’s partnerships with several handset makers in India, saw the Duo app being pre-loaded on to many phones in India.
Google says Duo is “seeing strong growth and engagement across both Android and iOS.” Duo now has the option to leave video messages as well. The blog post notes that the company will continue to offer more quality improvements based on machine learning for the Duo app.
Finally, Hangouts Chat (which is the enterprise version of the original Hangouts app) will soon let customers include people from outside of their organisation in Chats. Google says Hangouts Chat and Meet (for video) “are primarily focused on team collaboration for G Suite customers and at some point will be made available for existing Hangouts users too.”
It has been reported that Google plans to shut down the Classic Hangouts app by 2020, though the company said no final date has been fixed for the same.