Uptime is the latest messenger from Google in their latest effort to win the mobile messenger wars. I have been using a lot different messengers lately and I started noticing how many messengers Google is supporting. Unlike Facebook or Microsoft who are working to perfect one messenger, Google has several all with different user bases and features. Google has been trying to see what catches on with users in the app messaging space over the last several years. Google announcement yesterday of Uptime messenger for YouTube adds another messenger Google needs to support so you need to ask yourself.
How many messengers does Google need?
Let’s take a look at what Google is offering in the message space.
Google Hangouts is built into Gmail and YouTube and I would think Hangouts has the largest most frequent user base due to the huge popularity of GSuite, YouTube Live and Gmail users. Hangouts integration with YouTube Live and Google Hangouts Group messaging appeals to many users both personally and at the business level.
Google Duo is aimed more towards video chat and reminds me a lot of Skype with the look and feel. Google Duo lets users make video calls in high definition and points out it’s End-to-end encryption to users concerned about security. Google Duo is based on phone numbers, allowing users to call someone from their contact list. Due has the “Knock Knock” feature which lets users see a live preview of the caller before answering.
Google Allo is a more advanced messenger then Hangouts or Due allowing users to exchange messages, files, voice notes, images and using Google AI for a virtual assistant. Google Allo uses phone numbers as identifiers, not social media or email accounts which make Allo capable of being the default messenger for SMS messages on Android giving users an all in one messaging app.
Android Messages (Google Messenger)
Google rebranded Messenger to Android Messages in February 2017 stating in a blog post “Whether we’re receiving a boarding pass for a flight or chatting with friends and family, SMS (better known as text messaging) is a universal way for us to stay connected.” Going on to say “Today, we’re taking a significant step toward making RCS messaging universally available to users across the world with 27 carriers and device manufacturers launching RCS to Android users with Google.” Google began preloading Android Messages as the standard native messaging app for their phones right after the announcement.
Uptime is the new app Google added to their already crowded marketplace of messaging apps today. Uptime is aimed more towards the YouTube crowd allowing users to watch videos together and chat about shared videos using text, emoji’s, hearts, reply with other videos, and invite more friends to the conversation up to 30 people at a time.
I think out of all of these apps I think Uptime has the best chance of taking off for Google in the consumer space as it’s offering a service not provided by any of the other apps. YouTube is one of the most viewed websites on the web and I think the one place YouTube is lacking is their social aspect which is in need of change since Google Plus popularity has and never will catch on anytime soon. Uptime is a nice addition to the social platform user wanted on YouTube and I hope it catches on with users on Android and iOS.
I think in the business world Google Hangouts will continue to be the standard as Hangouts is very tightly connected with the rest of Gsuite.