Back in November of last year, Google My Business released the new GMB app. At the point of its release, a number of people didn’t see the inconvenience of their approach to the messaging feature would cause. The Messaging feature previously relied on technology from Allo, which will be discontinued and will work until March 2019.
If you attempt to add the messaging feature on a listing in Google My Business right now, it asks you to download the GMB app.
I suppose you can consider yourself if you were one of the ones who set up messaging before the change. If that’s the case, you’ll still maintain access to the messaging feature via Google My Business dashboard where you can receive and respond to messages via SMS. But, if Allo is going to become defunct in a few months, there could be a chance that the SMS functionality will stop for everyone, regardless of if you set it up before or after the GMB app.
This could potentially have a not so good impact on large enterprises and marketing agencies.
If you’re somebody running an agency and you use the GMB agency dashboard, you won’t be able to use the GMB app. If you try, all you’ll get is an error that tells you that you have no listings in your account.
On the Google My Business forum, a users sums up why this sucks for agencies:
“This is horrible. We were utilizing messaging option with our chat program. Were onboarding many clients that would allow them to use same chat program with GMB, their website, FB, and more. This shuts that down really fast. Plus, I utilize Agency GMB dashboard, which does not work with the App. So to help clients that still want to use GMB messaging separately from the easy to use third party, I have to walk them through it, because I cannot help them through my dashboard access.”
If you own a 100+ chain of stores, how would it be possible to manage of of this with a single app on your phone?
Dan Leibson, who works with several of these types of businesses says:
“We have a few clients (both are 500+ locations) that have heavily invested in website chat and integrated that provider into GMB chat for pre-sales support and customer service. It’s has been a great lead producing and review management (via solving customer service issues before it comes to a review) tool.
These large clients that were using Google SMS for GMB in their communication strategy were told by their SMS vendor that they will have to stop using GMB chat when Google deprecates SMS. And that no solution on the immediate horizon but that a solution ‘was coming.’
Now this revenue and support stream will be completely cutoff.”
With two more months before Allo shuts down, maybe Google will surprise us by announcing a way for us to continue utilizing Google Messaging via SMS.
But for now, it could be a good idea to hold off adding the Messaging feature until there is a solution that makes sense.