I’m pretty sure if you are even mildly involved in the Android world you know what Allo is. The expectedly revolutionary chat app that fell short on so many levels as I pointed out when it came out. While Allo did open to much fanfare like its sibling Duo and also much like it and Pokemon Go, users left disappointed when they found it wasn’t what they expected.
On September 28th, Allo co-lead Justin Uberti announced the app had received a staggering 5 million downloads within 5 days of launch. While it wasn’t as quick a rise as Duo, which reached #1 rankings within two days, it was still a great start.
Two months from then, Allo has gone from #1 to #200 in Playstore rankings, and shows little signs of life as far as app installs are concerned. The app’s download count remains at the 5,000,000-10,000,000 milestone it achieved back at the end of September. That means in over 60 days, Allo couldn’t manage to move to another milestone, or even achieve again what it did in the first five days of launch.
While Google has been partnering with brands, movies and shows, to boost user interest in Allo, stickers and chat themes aren’t exactly why people use a messenger service, they’re an added bonus. Allo’s sister app Duo has done considerably better from the start, and even to this day. Although, Duo hasn’t been doing that well either, but it generally stabilized around the #100-#150 ranking on the Play Store and broke past the 10,000,000 download mark. Currently it sits over 184 positions above Allo on the overall Play Store top chart – #107 to Allo’s #291. Yes, Duo has had more time, but with Allo’s current momentum, it might never reach that milestone.
And that’s the picture on Android, where Google has most of its hardcore fans. On iOS, the picture is yet grimmer. Allo was last updated 2 weeks ago on iOS, and has since received a total of ….. 13 ratings. For an app by Google that made headlines all over, and had such excitement around it, just two months later, such lukewarm response speaks of itself.
It has nearly 500 iOS ratings total, compared to well over 150,000 ratings on the Play Store. That would seem to make the multi-platform aspect of Allo’s launch little more than symbolic – a commitment to a group of users that essentially doesn’t exist.
It was said that what we got on September 21st, was an initial version of the app, but after two months, it seems Google is as absent from the reality of what users want as Niantic was with Pokemon Go. Allo did receive a full version update a month ago, bringing Allo 1.0, to Allo 2.0 which should suggest big changes. But what we got were incremental changes almost nobody wanted. (Pokemon Go Déjà vu?)
Many of us believe that once RCS messaging hits off, and gets integrated into Allo it might truly be that cross platform Android iMessage we were hoping for. Oh and support for multiple devices, a web client at least right? Why would anyone give up Facebook messenger without that. Even Whatsapp has a web client. Why would we give up Hangouts even, it does all those things except SMS.
Remind me, why did Google create Allo?
Allo may have only been with us a couple of months, but that short time could hardly be imagined to have gone worse for the nascent messaging app, and Google has provided precious little indication that Allo’s shortcomings are going away anytime soon.
Are you still hopeful for Allo? Do you still use it? Would you comeback if and when Google adds SMS support and support for multiple devices?