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SAYING ALLO

There are 18.7 billion reasons to search for the future of messaging. That’s the amount of SMS messages sent every day, nearly three messages for every person on the planet. Google Allo is a radical rethink of what a messaging app is capable of by brining a new buddy into the conversation: the most powerful conversational artificial intelligence in existence. And that’s great! But seriously: Where are the stickers?

 

SO MANY FEELS

Extensive consumer research has revealed that chat app users build an emotional connection to stickers, identifying and personalizing them as part of their ability to communicate. The work to make stickers that are capable of creating that personalized connection is where we began our work.

 
 
Sticker’s Copyright of Facebook, KakaoTalk and WeChat

Sticker’s Copyright of Facebook, KakaoTalk and WeChat

 
 

THE COMPETITION

 
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Building a new chat app is diving into a very small ocean full of very big fish. Our first step was looking into the highs and lows of competing products: finding the things that worked, the things that were over-used, and the avenues that had yet to be explored. Alongside Google’s consumer research divison, we worked to identify what the market lacked.

 

WHAT YOU MAKE VS.
HOW THEY USE IT

The biggest stumbling block appeared to be the network effect of WhatApp; if everyone’s already using it, convincing people to change is near impossible. We fell into a fascinating observation that users often adopted a secondary chat app for specialized purposes  if WhatsApp was all about family and work, LINE might be used purely for friends and fun. This was our in.

 
 
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ART FOR THE PEOPLE

 
 

AND THEN WE DOVE INTO CONSUMER INTERESTS

With Google’s extensive analytics of Indonesian internet use, we began compiling a list of interests and topics that were popular but hadn’t been served in the market yet. Topics like traffic, ghosts, and local soccer had someone never been touched by rival apps; we naturally dug in. Ramadan was trickier still, as Google needed a set to represent them globally. We would need to get input from Google offices across the Islamic world.

When we looked for artists for the project, we set out one goal: distinct work that would look nothing like anything else on the market. While four of our artists dug into the project from a hyper-local angle, art director Deasy Camiladini workshopped with offices in Riyadh and Istanbul looking for a messaging set that would speak with joy to Muslims across the world.

 
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THE RESULT

 
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