Google Assistant has long been a portal to the company's numerous other products and services, but a glut of new job listings across the board seems to indicate that the company will be taking the fight to Amazon Alexa with a whole new strategy for Assistant in the near future. There are numerous job listings, including international ones, for positions revolving around things like developer support, widening distribution, gathering and interpreting usage insights, and even marketing, all centered around Assistant. Most of these have cropped up within the past couple of months, with many of them only a few weeks old. At the very least, this means that Google is going to double down its focus on Assistant, but to get a better understanding exactly what the new efforts will entail, it's wise to look into a few of the new listings and their possible implications against the backdrop of Assistant's current place in Google's portfolio.
Right now, one of the biggest things that separates Assistant from Alexa is the fact that Google develops Assistant and all of its capabilities. You can use IFTTT to develop new applets and service links and triggers, but those reside on IFTTT's servers and require any users that want them to pick and choose the ones they want and link them to their Google account. There are a number of new positions that mention "Partner" businesses and entities, which almost certainly means that Google is poised to open Assistant up and begin incorporating the fruits of outside parties' labor directly into the core experience in some way. Whether this comes in the form of a storefront like one uses to get new Amazon Alexa skills or direct Assistant integration and new base-level capabilities, only time will tell. There are also positions that pertain to growth, marketing, and distribution of the platform. This means, unequivocally, that Google is looking to broaden Assistant's reach, plausible use cases, and partner businesses. There's even a job listing dedicated to getting Assistant onto more non-Google devices.
With these new job listings, there really can't be any doubt; Google is shifting its Assistant strategy to favor expansion into new markets and with new partners. Things are a little bit more murky when it comes to developer relations and how outside developers will fit into the Assistant ecosystem, but Google wouldn't be hiring for developer advocacy positions if the company planned to continue relegating developer involvement in the Assistant ecosystem to a disorganized crowd of DIY Assistant applets made on and hosted by IFTTT. Whatever Google may be up to, rest assured that there will be big changes to how the company treats Assistant, and probably how users interact with it, in the near future.