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Google's Nth attempt to communicate, its social dream can come true?

via:博客园     time:2018/4/25 17:01:47     readed:192



Google Allo, which has just released less than two years ago, announced that it will suspend development and team resources will be transferred to another project.

A Google digital tomb has been circulated on the Internet and lists those Google products that have ceased operation. There are a number of projects that have attracted attention: Google Reader, Project Tango, and others. But to say that Google has "abandoned" the most, still have to count communications software. From the earliest Google Talk to the latest Google Allo, Google has made numerous attempts in instant messaging, but it has not been able to form a unified form and compete with Apple iMessage, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp.

Recently, Google Allo, which has just been released for less than two years, has announced that it will suspend development and team resources will be transferred to another project. However, this time Google has not launched a new chat software, but instead incorporates new features into the default. In the Android Messages app, the goal is to use the new "Chat" service to replace the phone's default text message.

Make text messages as easy to use as WeChat

Simply put, Chat not only refers to an application, but is another service standard that is upgraded on traditional SMS systems. You can understand it as a solution and let Android phones have default SMS like WeChat and WhatsApp. As easy to use.


Image Source:The Verge

Traditional SMS is based on SMS services. When there is no smartphone concept, SMS is the application that we cannot leave every day and spend countless hours, energy and money on it. In 2005, only Chinese mobile users sent more than 300 billion yuan. Then SMS. After the emergence of instant messaging software such as WeChat and QQ, rich multimedia information is naturally more appealing, and the tariffs are cheaper, and SMS is becoming something that is dispensable. The only place where most people only use text messages is to receive the verification code. Because of the SMS standard's security problems, people's inboxes are basically flooded with spam messages.

Even if SMS is outdated and there are better alternatives, it has not left the stage of history. The reason is very simple. The SMS standard supports almost all mobile phones on the market, whether low or high, Android or iOS, smart or functional, it does not require You can receive data at any time by opening it. That is to say, in any case, you can communicate with others smoothly by SMS, which is very important in some special situations.


SMS cannot be completely replaced, but it is without a doubt that it needs to be upgraded. Why is Google leading this matter? To be realistic, this is Google’s “gambling” in instant messaging and is one of the only options available in real life.

Failed Google communications

Google's communication software is too much and too messy. We try to take stock of what it has done in this area.

  • In August 2005, Google Talk was released.
  • In May 2013, Google Hangouts was launched to replace Google Talk.
  • In January 2016, Google Messenger was released.
  • In May 2016, Google launched Chat, Allo, and video chat app Duo.
  • In February 2017, Google Messenger changed its name to Android Messages and became the Android default SMS application.
  • In March 2017, Google Hangouts transitioned to corporate use.
  • In April 2018, Google Allo suspended development and the team turned to the new standard for messaging, Chat.

Google currently focuses on four communication products: Hangouts, Allo, Duo, and Android Messages. Hangouts is transitioning to corporate use; Allo's experience is good, but it's difficult to get a large number of users in a short period of time; Duo's main video chat is also a single fight; Android Messages has the advantage of Android system pre-installed, most likely to be successful.


Image Source:GoogleWatch Blog

Apple's iMessage is doing this, built in the iPhone can easily get a large number of users. WhatsApp is tied to a phone number and does not need to pay for the phone. Facebook Messenge directly leverages Facebook's strong social relationship chain. Everyone has their own stable growth channels. Unfortunately, Google did not. Although Android is already the world's largest system, it is open source and uncontrollable. Even Samsung has launched its own default SMS application.

We’ve experienced Google Allo before, it’s powerful, and it’s also adding a lot of Google’s applications in artificial intelligence. However, Google Allo failed to obtain a large number of users. At present, there are only 50 million users. In contrast, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and China WeChat are all already used in billions of applications.


The Android system is definitely the most powerful card for Google, but perhaps because of this, Google is using this trump card more cautiously. It's not okay to force pre-installation like iMessage, but it may cause operators to protest that they would not like to have such a service on Android phones that can replace SMS. Because it is estimated that there are still 8 trillion SMS-based SMS messages sent each year. This is a huge, irrevocable market.

Integrating various factors, Google chose to use Chat to upgrade the existing SMS messaging system, which became a reasonable and inevitable choice. Android is an open system and SMS messaging systems need to be upgraded. This is also in line with the interests of operators. So what's different about the new Chat?

How likely is Chat's success?

As mentioned before, Chat is different from the traditional SMS standard. It is based on RCS, which is the converged information solution. Chat replaces SMS and becomes the new standard for SMS, automatically enabled in the default Android Messages. When users use Chat, they will get experience similar to chat software, such as sending pictures, sending videos, file transfer, location sharing, and group functions. If the recipient does not have Chat enabled or is not an Android phone, the content will be converted to normal SMS, which is the same as iMessage.

However, it should be noted that Chat does not count as Google's service, it is based on operators. This universal RCS standard requires tripartite cooperation: operating system providers, equipment manufacturers, and operators. Google is just one of the promoters, and Microsoft is also supporting this standard, as well as 11 OEM manufacturers and 55 operators. The GSMA estimates that by 2021 this will be a $74 billion market.


Image Source:GSMA

Sabharwal, who is responsible for this work at Google, is the head of the Google Photos team. Sabharwal mentioned that Chat is not a result of a short-term project. Google's goal is to provide Android users with this high-quality information in the coming years. Despite all the factors considered, there are still some obstacles in the implementation of Chat, because it is based on operators, so it can not be end-to-end encryption, security can not be guaranteed. Since Google’s control of Android is not yet strong enough to persuade operators and equipment manufacturers to have certain obstacles, the “Hundred Flowers” ​​China Android ecosystem is an example. Secondly, there is a difference between the issue of tariff and the operator's idea. Is it free or charged? How much? This is a problem.

This time, Google called Chat as a "gambling game." Duplicate and individualized tactics are difficult to win. Google urgently needs a comprehensive communication tool to further deepen people's lives. Google Allo does a good job on the product, but if you allow it to climb slowly, the result may be the same. It's better to pull out their experience and resources and place them on Android Messages with more users.

Google’s ambition is big enough, but whether or not it can succeed depends on whether or not the partners match. In addition, does Chat really shake the roots of social networking even if it is upgrading the current SMS system? In the United States, Facebook, and WeChat in China, this is almost an application that people can’t leave. Even if Google’s Chat is done, it may just be a supplement to the existing social scene.

Header Source:Google Talk

Article reference:The Verge

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