Google’s shuttering its group messaging app

Google has announced that it will close its experimental group messaging app Spaces, as it focuses on its other messaging-related services.

While Google only launched the app less than a year ago, the company has decided that enough is enough. Frankly, given that you can already message friends or family via Hangouts, Allo or Duo – all of which are Google messaging apps – it’s probably a smart move to simplify its services.

Where Spaces differed from those other options is that it encouraged users to hold group chats around a particular topic, and provided easy ways to integrate content from around the Web into that chat. Ultimately, it seems like needing a whole separate app for a group chat was just too inconvenient for users.

“Last year, we announced Spaces to experiment with a new approach to small group sharing. Since then, we’ve learned a lot about how people come together to share ideas and content around any topic. As we focus our efforts, we’ve decided to take what we learned with Spaces, and apply it to our existing products,” John Kilcline, Google+ Product Manager, wrote in a post.

Kilcline added that the app will switch to a read-only mode “in the coming weeks” and will ultimately close altogether on April 17.

With the dominance of apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp (also owned by Facebook), Google still has a long way to go in terms of convincing people to ditch their favorite messaging apps for Allo and Duo.

Of course, it’s probably not entirely unrelated to the new Android Messages app the company launched yesterday, which allows for RCS (Rich Communication Services) to be used as standard. This replaces the existing Messages app and allows for things like read receipts, and group SMS.

Related: Finally, a reason to start using Google’s Allo messaging app

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