Google’s experiments with messaging and social media has not always been successful. Despite introducing path-breaking apps and technologies in several other areas, platforms such as Google Talk, Google +, Hangout and Google Buzz never actually lifted off. But on the other hand Facebook’s Facebook Messenger enjoys around 900 million monthly users and Facebook owned Whatsapp gets a billion monthly users. Obviously Google is missing something when it comes to social media. To settle the score perhaps once and for all Google is coming out with a new messaging app, “Allo”. And the app is already getting a lot of flak for the intuitive auto response technology it incorporates.
To put it simply, Allo can respond to images on your behalf using certain preset messages. For example, if your friend sends you a picture of his newborn baby and you are not available to view or respond to the message, Allo can correctly identify and it can send a response like “Aww, so cute” or something like that. In fact if your friend sends the picture of a dog, the algorithm can actually identify that the dog is a Labrador and send a message like “Wow that lab is awesome.” On the surface, it looks like a neat technology to have but if you think about it, this feature rips away the human emotion that is an integral part of messaging. The recipient of the message has no way to understand if you have even read the message, looked at the picture or typed message yourself.
The app is also getting denounced by many tech experts as it does not come default with end-to-end encryption. There is an option for encryption but user has to turn it on himself. This leaves a large number of users vulnerable to snooping and hacking. Edward Snowden also tweeted saying, Google’s decision to disable end-to-end encryption by default in its new #Allo chat app is dangerous, and makes it unsafe. Avoid it for now.”