Google, whose Messenger and Hangouts apps didn't make much traction, is building a new app to take on WhatsApp and WeChat. Fred Katayama reports.
Google's messaging services, Hangouts and Messenger, didn't get much traction. So it's trying again. The Wall Street Journal reports Google is building a new mobile messaging service to take on the giants of the industry: Facebook's WhatsApp and Tencent's WeChat. Users of Google's new app will be able to text their buddies or use it to look for answers. The Journal says it's not known when Google will launch the service or what it'll be called. Mobile messaging is a huge market. Portio Research says it's the biggest revenue generating mobile service after voice, generating 251 billion in annual revenue. Google's new app will reportedly feature two things: artificial intelligence and software programs called chatbots that search for information to deliver answers within a messaging app. As with its search engine, Google would direct users to specific chatbots it deems relevant. On the AI front, Google has developed a chatbot that can talk with people based on its knowledge of movies and IT data. But on this story, Google wouldn't talk.