This week, Google announced at its I/O developer conference that it is working on a messaging app called Allo. This left many to wonder what would become of its current messaging app Hangouts. The company has now stated it will continue to work on both apps even ever the launch of Allo.
Hangouts will continue to exist after Allo launches, despite the fact that Allo could potentially cannibalize the audience who uses Hangouts. On the other hand, Allo could help Google reach an entirely new audience — such as those who use messaging apps like Facebook’s Messenger, WhatsApp, and Apple’s iMessage.
What sets the two apart is the fact that Allo is a smart messaging app built on artificial intelligence, while Hangouts is more of a strict video and text messaging app. Hangouts has a desktop client while Allo will remain limited to iOS and Android operating systems. Hangouts is also tied to Google’s enterprise For Work products which is aimed at an entirely different audience than those who Google is targeting with Allo.
Google’s statement was that it will “continue to invest in Hangouts”; giving no specifics other than to say the company does not plan to shutter the service. According to Google’s research, most people use more than one messaging app, which is also how it is justifying keeping the two up and running.
Those who use Hangouts already to talk to their coworkers each day are the audience who will likely continue to use Hangouts. Otherwise, there’s few reasons to use Google’s legacy service over its new set of apps which will be available later this summer.