Are there any arguments left against the fact that Google’s messaging apps are a mess. They have a plethora of messaging platforms that perhaps even Google don’t know what do do with. Hangouts looks destined to be shuttered at some strange to be replaced by Allo on the web, and now their weirdest one of all Spaces is disappearing from April 17th.
Google have long had a ‘spring clean’ of services at some point in the year, and this year Spaces could just be the start. Product manager John Kilcline took to Google+ to announce the ending of Spaces. Which in itself is kind of ironic, Google+ has been predicted to die several times but it just keeps going.
Spaces was Google attempt at copying Facebook Rooms which was already canned back in December 2015. Focusing on small group discussion around certain topics or organising events. John outlined Google’s plan for using the experience they gained from Spaces and “apply it to our existing products.” It was no doubt a precursor experiment for Google Assistant, Spaces was already able to pull in information from Google search results and web page information.
Hopefully Google will eventually realise what they want to achieve with their message platforms before it is too late. Only recently renaming its SMS message app installed on Pixel handsets from ‘Messenger’ to ‘Messages’. Even long time Android users and developers are reluctant to adopt new products in case Google changes it’s mind again.
If you are using Spaces, and frankly we can be sure not many people are, the service will be in ‘read only mode’ from now. So grab any information you need before it disappears into the ether on April 17th. Hopefully Google I/O 2017 will see the introduction of Google Allo for the web, and we may see some use of Spaces there.