Google Releases a New Mobile Messaging Platform Called Allo

By on Sep 29, 2016

Mobile is huge. Mobile messaging applications and platforms should become a part of the communication strategy of any agency. Text, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and many others are all an attempt to capture part of the on-demand mobile messaging traffic.

Google is hoping to compete in this crowded mobile messaging application market with their new app Allo. Released September 20, the app is available on both the Android and iOS platforms. In its description of the app on both platforms, Google calls Allo a “smart messaging” app that uses artificial intelligence to deliver a better chatting experience.

Google is building Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning into almost every product it develops. The Allo app does a good job of showing off Google’s Assistant chatbot.

The chatbot type of experience you can have with Allo is worth downloading the app to experiment with how it works. I am very intrigued with how this kind of machine-learning chatbot technology will start transforming how insurance agencies can provide 24/7 service to the digital consumer.

Google Allo
Here are some of the initial examples of how this app interacts with its owner using the Google Assistant:

  • Allo offers a function that shows you a “smart reply” you can use to respond to a text message without ever typing.
  • Allo can also analyze the conversation and offer suggestions on what you should say next. Time and experience will tell how well it anticipates what you would say.
  • If you are making plans with friends using Allo (your friends need to have the app installed), Assistant can help you add events to your calendar without leaving the app. Just tell Assistant to add an item to your calendar, and it will ask you for the time, title, and if you want to save it. If you say yes, it is stored. If you say no, Assistant asks if you would like to make changes or just cancel.
  • Assistant can also create reminders. Tell it to remind you of something, and it will ask when you want the reminder to happen. Keep in mind; you do not have to use exact language with Assistant. You can just tell it “tomorrow” or “this evening.”

Google Assistant is baked into the app, giving you the option to ask for and discover local points of interest or decent spots to eat. Remember, Allo knows your location so can customize the information it provides.

Google Allo is a chatbot that includes standard features such as emojis, big text bubbles, and an incognito mode for secure conversations. However, it’s also a more intelligent take on messaging — and one that could take on established competitors such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

The Allo app is free and available at the Google Play Store and on iTunes.

What do you think? Are chatbots a fad or the next great customer service tool for your agency? Let me know what you think.


  1. Thanks for doing this write-up, Steve, and also, a huge thank you for today’s client information webinar. Lots of insight from that! My next call will be to RPost, to see if they can help us out with our eSignature needs.

    Back to the topic at hand, I carry an iPhone for work, but I’m an Android/Google die-hard. I was very excited with the release of Allo, but soon discovered the limitations. I’ve been using Google for text/messaging, ever since the Google Voice SMS days. It’s rather frustrating that Google can’t seem to come up with one fully-integrated, consolidated product.

    I have Google Voice as my voice mail service.

    I have Hangouts to text my daughter on her iPad.

    I have Google Messenger as the replacement to my stock SMS text messaging app.

    I was hoping Allo would at least replace Google Messenger, but it doesn’t accept incoming SMS! It pretty much functions as Google’s limited version of Whatsapp.

    Toss into the mix Google Duo; their flavor of FaceTime, and it seems like there’s going to be no end to disparate solutions.

    Like many tech bloggers, I’ve followed in their footsteps and ditched Allo, and gone back to my old SMS standby, until we see some maturity and integration happening with Allo.

    Thanks again Steve!


    • Faye, thanks for your comments and suggestions. I do think it will take some time for Allo to be a viable option and I’m glad to at least have the possibility of cross platform.

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