A decade and a half of instability: The historical past of Google messaging apps

Take the Google Messaging quiz! Can you name all the icons?

Enlarge / Take the Google Messaging quiz! Are you able to identify all of the icons? (credit score: Ron Amadeo)

Google Speak, Google’s first-ever instantaneous messaging platform, launched on August 24, 2005. This firm has been within the messaging enterprise for 16 years, which means Google has been making messaging shoppers for longer than a few of its rivals have existed. However because of a decade and a half of practically fixed technique modifications, competing product launches, and inner sabotage, you’ll be able to’t say Google has a dominant and even steady instantaneous messaging platform immediately.

Google’s 16 years of messenger wheel-spinning has allowed merchandise from extra targeted firms to cross it by. Embarrassingly, practically all of those merchandise are a lot youthful than Google’s messaging efforts. Take into account opponents like WhatsApp (12 years outdated), Fb Messenger (9 years outdated), iMessage (9 years outdated), and Slack (eight years outdated)—Google Speak even had video chat 4 years earlier than Zoom was a factor.

At the moment, you’d in all probability rank Google’s choices behind each different big-tech competitor. An absence of any type of top-down messaging management at Google has led to a decade and a half of messaging purgatory, with Google each unable to go away the area altogether and unable to decide to a single product. Whereas firms like Fb and Salesforce make investments tens of billions of {dollars} right into a lone messaging app, Google appears content material solely to spin up an innumerable variety of under-funded, unstable aspect initiatives led by job-hopping venture managers. There have been durations when Google briefly produced messaging resolution, however the fixed shutdowns, focus-shifting, and sabotage of established merchandise have stopped Google from carrying a lot of those consumer bases—or consumer goodwill—ahead into the current day.

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