Google’s history with social media may not be as successful as its other ventures have been but Google Allo is off to a decent start with five million downloads, on Android alone, in its launch week. Google has positioned Allo as a ‘smart messaging’ app because it can learn from conversations and suggests responses over time. As per the tech giant, Allo will combine the best of machine learning and everything else that Google’s assets have to offer.
Similar to what is seen in Gmail, where the system suggests an answer to an ongoing conversation, Allo too will have ‘Smart Replies’. This essentially means that when someone messages ‘How are you?’ or sends across an image, the screen will suggest various responses, including emojis, that the user can choose from, by a simple tap. Google claims that over time Allo will learn from the user’s style of messaging and improve its suggestions.
Another serious, and interesting to watch effort in Allo, is the Google Assistant. “With your Assistant in Allo, you can have a conversation with Google — ask it questions and let it help you get things done directly in your chats. You no longer need to leave a conversation with friends just to grab an address, share your favorite YouTube video, or pick a dinner spot. Just type @google to bring your Assistant into any group chat. You can also chat one-on-one with your Assistant in Allo too,” informed a company post.
Assistant can make plans with friends asking for movie times, local restaurants and more, or with colleagues researching travel destinations, flights and hotels. It can get answers and even share videos.
Allo will also offer chat in incognito mode, as a step towards adding one more option of privacy for users. While Google will take the combined steps of improving the app as it goes along, and market it widely, 2016 has continued to be the year of social messaging apps.
Skype has added bots in its messaging this year that is in line with Assistant, where users can stay within the Skype chat to research a topic or find any kind of assistance.
Twitter removed character limit, added more options and have its own Direct Messaging platform an uplift to work more as a messenger.
WhatsApp has continued to grow in strength and this year, even shared data with Facebook for targeted advertising – a big branch off from its original ethos but an indicator that WhatsApp has the ambition to grow and be profitable.
And Facebook itself has added more to its Messenger, including the option to transact in some markets, and making Messenger more business friendly in an effort to escalate its messenger app.
All the big names are reinforcing the best of what they have to offer in their messenger service, indicating that this platform will continue to be of significance for users and businesses alike.