Google, part of Alphabet, is building a new mobile messaging application to better compete with rival services such as those offered by Facebook, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The new service would tap into Google’s artificial intelligence know-how, integrating chatbots, or software programs that answer questions, inside a messaging app, the Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The new app will enable users to text friends or a chatbot, which will search the web and other sources for information to answer a question. It is unclear when the service will be launched, or what it will be named, the report said. Google declined to comment.
Popular messaging apps include Facebook’s WhatsApp and Messenger services, and Tencent Holdings Ltd’s WeChat, while Google has a service called Hangouts.
Google tried to bring everything – phone calls, sms, messaging and video conferencing – in one place, but Hangouts wasn’t as popular as others such as WhatsApp, WeChat and so on.
Recently, Google had announced a new feature for Hangouts chat and video calling app that allows meeting organisers to invite even those users to calls who don’t have Google accounts. The new update was aimed at allowing businesses to connect with users by simply sharing a link. Users can then join the video call by simply clicking on the link.