According to The Wall Street Journal, the tech giant plans to use its knowledge about artificial intelligence and its "chatbot technology" to bring a new user experience.
With Google' new messaging app, users will be allowed to text friends or a chatbot.
The few details we have given about how chatbots are involved, and according to the report, Google will "steer users to specific chatbots, much as its search engine directs users to relevant websites". However, it's unclear when this service will launch, and whether Google plans to launch it as a new app or if the company will integrate the functionality into an existing offering like Hangouts.
The report notes that Google's goal is to develop something akin to the chatbot marketplace run by Telegram, a messaging app headed up Vkontake co-founder Pavel Durov. In October, Fox attempted to buy 200 Labs Inc., a small firm specializing in chatbots, but the company declined his offer. Sources told the WSJ that Nick Fox has been leading a team working on the new service for at least a year. On the other hand, since Google is pursuing a similar technology in-house, it will be interesting to see how it revives its own messaging apps.
While many internet users are spending more time on messaging apps to the detriment of search - Google's main business - this could accelerate as messaging apps add more features.
Alphabet, the parent company of Google is gearing up to compete with companies like Facebook in making "intelligent" messaging apps. Facebook has already been working on a project that will incorporate a virtual assistant into its Messenger app in order to allow users to do things like shop or find a restaurant from within the app. Google will use external developers to build the chatbots. Part of Facebook's Messenger app, M is a mixed combination of software and human "supervisors".
Google is lagging behind its competitors when it comes to messaging services.
It makes sense that Google wants to get a big slice of the mobile messaging market.