Google has brought its instant messaging app Allo to the Web. The new move by the search giant is aimed to take on WhatsApp that received a similar web support in May last year.
Just like the WhatsApp Web service, Google Allois initially accessible on the Web through Google's Chrome browser, and you need to have an Android device to begin the action. Google would, however, expand the service by adding iOS support as well as compatibility with other popular web browsers such as Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox over time.
Google Allo's Head of Product Amit Fulay announced its arrival on the Web in a recent tweet. "Allo for Web is here! Try it on Chrome today," Fulaytweeted.
You can access Allo on the Web by scanning a QR code on your Android device. This easy-to-use process is just identical to what WhatsApp designed for its Web version last year.
A step ahead
Unlike WhatsApp that offers a pure messaging experience, Google Allo is a step ahead with features such as Smart Reply, stickers and doodles. The app also has Google Assistant integration that lets you directly interact with Google's artificial intelligence (AI) bot which suggests your nearby restaurants, movies and entertainment. Besides, there is an incognito mode that expires messages in a particular time frame.
Google would require many months to surpass the userbase of Facebook-owned WhatsApp that currently has over one billion users. Nevertheless, the advanced features of Google Allo are making it a competitive offering in the market of messaging apps.
Other messaging apps with Web presence
It is worth noting that Google Allo and WhatsApp are not the only messaging apps that have a specific Web version. Asian innovations such as WeChat and LINE Messenger are already on the Web to bring your chats right to your web browser. In April 2015, Facebook even launched a standalone version of its Messenger for web browsers.
While the present market of messaging apps is largely dominated by Facebook -- with a total of over 2.2 billion WhatsApp and Messenger users worldwide, other players are seeking new avenues like releasing a Web version to grow their presence. Overall, the messaging app world has a huge potentialnot just for end users but also for developers and advertisers. Emerging features such as peer-to-peer (P2P) payments and video calling are taking such apps to the next levels.
According to a report by eMarketer, more than one-quarter of the world's total population will be using mobile messaging apps by 2019. The New York-based market research firm claimed that particularly the APAC region is a home to more than 50 percent of chat app users globally, with over 805 million consumers in 2016. China leads the region with more than half Chinese users, whereas India stands at the second position albeit the fastest growing market -- reporting over 24 percent increase in users last year.