Despite the worldwide popularity of Google’s Android platform it remains woefully behind the competition when it comes to messenger apps. Over past ten years they’ve launched Allo, Google Talk, etc., but nothing has caught on. In contrast competitive messenger platforms like Apple Messages, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are flourishing. So Google needs a reset.
As first reported by The Verge, Google is attempting a three part strategic pivot to get back in the messaging game. First, they’re killing Allo which never really got off the ground after its 2016 release. Second, Google will reposition Hangouts as a professional group chat tool to compete with the ultra-successful Slack. And finally, they’ll launch a new text-based service called Chat which will run on the new RCS (Rich Communication Services) protocol. RCS, which is the next gen SMS/MMS platform, will allow Chat messages to carry more rich media videos and images across any telco provider in the world. This is key for Google given that so many Android users are in emerging markets with rag tag internet networks.
So will Chat be the cure for Google’s messaging blues? It’s hard to know for sure. But as the saying goes, you can’t fall off the floor.