Say Hello to Allo: Google’s New Messaging Application

Google now has a stake in mobile messaging - maybe a tad late behind iMessage, Messenger, Kik, WeChat and the other global platforms though. What makes Allo unique is that it has a built in chatbot called Google Assistant that can help book movie times, share the weather, launch a game, and more - right in the chat, and usually between friends.  I guess you could consider Google Assistant Siri’s more social arch rival.

Here’s some of the must-know features about Allo:

Stickers, Messaging, etc: Like the other other messaging applications, one of the key elements of Allo is it’s sticker store. While platforms like Kik, iMessage, and Messenger have been very brand-friendly, Google has taken a different approach. So far the stickers are from independent, up & coming artists. There’s some ironic, funny packs being featured right now like ‘Emo Ballz’ which are sarcastic balls to lift your mood and ‘Lethargic Bliss’ which is a hipster sloth. As the sticker store grows, we hope Snaps client’s will eventually be able to showcase their emoji packs there and create packs to reach the Allo users worldwide.

In Allo, users also have the ability to send giant text messages, a lot like Apple’s slam text or whisper text. Users can also share location, send/draw on photos a-la-Snapchat.

Smart Reply: One feature worth noting is Smart Reply. It may feel familiar to those who used Google Inbox, a more design-centric Gmail client. It’s a neat feature. Let’s say you’re chatting with your mom. If your mom sends you a picture of the family dog, a Google Allo Smart Reply could be “How Cute!” or “Beautiful Dog”. So far these seem generic but if you think how well Google is able to auto-populate its search queries, we bet this follows suit as well.

AI/Google now: Finally, what makes Allo a player is the introduction of Google Assistant. For certain things, Allo feels like Google search, but just in chat. You can ask it questions with your friends. Just bring in @Google at any time in the conversation. You can also chat directly with the Google Assistant bot one-on-one to to have it schedule a timer or just ask a random question.

Other times, you can be chatting with a friend, say about movie times, and @Google will gently chime in, showing the movies playing near you. It’s intuitive and predictive, similar to the Google Now functionality.

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Snaps POV - For brand marketers, there isn’t much you can do in Allo at the moment. While other platforms like Facebook utilize bots to drive commerce, or Kik to promote stickers, these opportunities are absent from Allo. With that said, it’s a brand new product from Google. Here at Snaps, we keep a close eye on all things mobile messaging & look forward to watching the platform open up with more functionality and branded interactions in the future.