Google would like us to think of its messaging strategy as a work in progress. What it’s progressing towards, I don’t know. Amongst all the changes, additions, mergers, and rebranding its series of messaging apps have gone through over the past few years, Google has done little to simplify or streamline its strategy. And with the latest moves, we may have fewer apps than ever, but the message has never been more muddled.
In a blog post Wednesday night, Google confirmed rumors that classic Hangouts and Allo are going away, which comes as no surprise. Google already announced that Hangouts would be splitting into two new apps, Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, and Allo has been “on pause” since April as Google re-evaluated the purpose of the two-year-old app. But with less comes more confusion. Eight months later, we have a new Allo-less strategy that’s no clearer than it was when the app launched in 2016.