There has been a whirlwind of rumors around Google's messaging strategy over the past few days. First we heard that Hangouts might be shutting down, with a Google product lead refuting the claims, then a report came out that Allo is also shutting down. Google has now published a blog post to set the record straight, and it seems the rumors were mostly true.
The announcement mostly reiterates what we already assumed was true — the company is focusing on Android Messages and Duo for consumers, and Hangouts Chat and Meet for businesses. Google finally confirmed that Allo is going away, with the shutdown date set for the end of March 2019:
Given Messages’ continued momentum, we’ve decided to stop supporting Allo to focus on Messages.
Allo will continue to work through March 2019 and until then, you’ll be able to export all of your existing conversation history from the app—here are instructions on how to do so. We've learned a lot from Allo, particularly what’s possible when you incorporate machine learning features, like the Google Assistant, into messaging.
The blog post also mentions that Hangouts Meet and Chat will eventually become available to all users, and the company is "fully committed to supporting Hangouts users in the meantime."