Earlier today, Google officially released the Allo messaging app it announced at the I/O developer event in May. Besides standard messaging app features, the app, available on both Android and iOS, comes with an integrated digital assistant service that appears to be an extension of its existing “OK Google” voice search feature.
Users can summon the Google Assistant by starting a new message with “@google” in any chat and write out their commands or inquiries in natural language. The Google Assistant will surface the results right in the chat window for all parties involved to see. According to Google executive Nick Fox, the Google Assistant will also appear in Google’s Home – an Echo competitor expected to launch next month, in new Android smartphones, and in third-party devices such as wearables.
What Brands Should Do
This launch marks another push toward conversational media channels for which brands need to optimize their content and partnerships. While Google is still struggling to get into the mobile messaging app market, its decision to rebrand its “OK Google” service and integrate a digital assistant service into Allo is a significant move, signaling the search giant’s ambition in launching a service that rivals Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana. While it remains to be seen whether Allo will attract a meaningful audience for marketers, for now it presents a good channel for brands and media owners to test integrations with Google Assistant.
To learn more about how brands can effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, check out the Conversational Interfaces section of our Outlook 2016.