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In this age of conversational commerce, Google is increasingly getting involved in messaging whereas the Tech Titan is still finding it difficult to break into the world of social media.

The Facts


A few weeks ago Google announced a series of initiatives about messaging services:


– First of all, the planned launch this summer of the instant messaging application Allo. It will feature artificial intelligence, Google Assistant, to allow users to call Google services at any time. While chatting with friends, users could order products, run an information search, share content, or even analyse their way of answering on the messaging service to suggest answers (Smart Reply on the model of gmail). Subsequently, Allo should be opened up to third-party services through the chatbot (a conversational software robot).


– Youtube is deploying an instant messaging service that lets users share video directly on Youtube with their friends rather than through external social networks. This service is currently being tested.


– Then there is Duo, the latest newcomer, a one-to-one video call application that will soon be available on Google Play.


– And finally, there is still Hangout, Google’s legacy chat and video call tool. Hangout is expected to be maintained despite all the latest announcements.



Instant messaging, chatbots and artificial intelligence are the hot topics of the moment. While marketing departments have been fantasizing about them for over 6 months, Google through its announcements is trying to catch up on opportunities offered by relational commerce.

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Nonetheless, the fact remains that historically Google has never found success in the world of social media (apart from Youtube). Indeed it is rather strange to see Google bringing out more and more conversational media, whereas Hangout has a good track record and  ranks among the best messaging services. Hangout could have been the support platform for Google’s AI, as the rumours earlier in the year suggested.


Torn between Amazon (with Alexa) and Facebook Messenger on these subjects, the Californian giant seems to be throwing itself headlong into a last-chance race to gain a foothold in the world of social commerce. As conversational commerce is gaining ground in the United States and in Europe, as is the case in China with Wechat, Google indeed has reason to worry for its referencing-related business on its search engine.

As an expert in emerging technologies, Nicolas travels to innovation shows around the world to spot and analyse the new trends.
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