Google To Launch Its Own 'WhatsApp' Like Messenger

Google is in the process of building its own mobile messaging app. The app can be expected to be on the lines of the famous messaging app, WhatApp, which the search giant lost to its arch rival Facebook in a multi dollar acquisition bid.

Google is expected to test its messaging app in India and other such emerging markets.  Nikhyl Singhal, Google’s top product manager was sent to India last month by the company to get an understanding of the messaging application ecosystem in the country. Singhal is also visiting other countries in Asia Pacific to do a recce of the messaging app ecosystem there.

According to sources, the Google Messenger is still in its early stages of development and will be launched next year.  The search giant had reportedly made an offer of $ 10 billion to buy Whatsapp but the deal finally went to Facebook which offered $ 19 billion for the same.

The Google messenger will not require users to use their Google login. In order to localize the product, the company is thinking of adding Indian support and voice to text messaging to the messenger. The messenger will be available absolutely free of cost to users just like Whatsapp. Whatsapp has a freemium model wherein it charges just Rs.53 annually after one year of usage.

India is increasingly turning into a testing ground for the search giant. The launch of Google’s Android initiative, which sought to bring together hardware vendors to sell affordable Smartphones, is one such example. According to Sundar Pichai’s statement to Economic Times, the search giant is looking forward to more such India specific launches and test because of the scope and scale of the market here. Sundar Pichai is a top Google Executive.

Google has become a little late in launching its own messenger service as now it will have to face tough competition from already established messaging apps like Line, WeChat and Viber etc.

According to Benedict Evans statement, "Google would agree that it missed social on mobile. But then Facebook had to buy WhatsApp and Instagram for the same reason". Benedict Evans is a former mobile analyst and a partner at Andreessen Horowitz.

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