Facebook has put video and botchat and loads more into Messenger, its homegrown behemoth. Why didn’t Google meld its two do-over apps together?
“We thought about that. We thought about that long and hard,” Fox replied.
“Apps tend to do best when they’re super-focused. But it’s harder for an app to do well if it tries to do everything, and does none of those things really well,” he said. “The idea is focus — do one thing very well. How it evolves over time, you know, we’ll see.”
Apple succeeds with FaceTime because it’s part of the operating system. If the person you’re calling has nearly any Apple device, the likelihood they can receive a FaceTime call are increasingly high and will only grow each passing year.
Facebook wins with Messenger because Facebook forced their users to stop using the main Facebook app if they wanted to chat. Facebook has a large user base which is already accustomed to using the company’s app. The transition was painful and some, like myself, have abandoned the split entirely as having multiple apps for the same service is not appealing.
This is where Google falls. They are introducing new apps and hoping for adoption. There are quite a few people I know who use Google’s services but none who have used their messaging options.
Duo users are going to be stuck trying to get their friends to install the app. This is not a great way to increase usage as people don’t like to install a new app to talk to someone they know when they already have a way to do so unless that new app is far and away better. Google doesn’t seem to have that here.