Google is working on a new messaging app based on artificial intelligence.
The app will allow users chat with friends as well as message Google for answers to any of their questions.
The app relies on chatbots to give answers to queries around restaurants, news information, weather etc. Google will also allow developers to create their own chatbots for the service. The company tried fruitlessly to purchase 200 Labs, an analogous service that has developed such chatbots for Telegram.
A rival for M
Google’s role as the chief search engine is already under threat as messaging apps like Facebook are already creating intelligent bots of their own. It’s for this reason that the company has moved strategically to develop an AI-based messaging app. You may wonder why Google is doing that when it already has Hangouts. Well, Hangouts does not rule a significant space on mobiles like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WeChat and Line do.
Facebook aims to expand Messenger to a self-fulfilled service with other apps. Late last year, the social media network rolled out an AI assistant for Messenger, Facebook MoneyPenny or just M. This chatbot completes several tasks and finds information on user’s behalf; book restaurants, arrange appointments, purchase items, deliver gifts and more. Facebook is also integrating Messenger with Uber so that users can book a cab without leaving the app. Messenger already has 700 million users.
Facebook M searches the web for answers to your questions. However, it does more than what a computer can deliver. For complicated queries, a human assistant will take over. This is enough to worry Google.
Google looking beyond just a full-scale mobile messaging app
Messaging apps do not collect much revenue by just offering messaging services. Furthermore, sending and receiving information across the networks is almost free. The apps want to diversify to fulfill all needs and earn more.
For instance, if Facebook does well to integrate all needs then people will not be leaving Messenger and definitely register a rise in revenue. Google’s new app is also driven by a similar motive.
WeChat in China, KakaoTalk in Korea and Line in Japan are already offering more than messaging. WeChat, which is home to more than 600 million users, already allows users to hail cabs, make restaurant and travel reservations, book appointments, make purchases and a lot more. KakaoTalk might only be having 100 million users, but the number of services it offers is well paying. The app lets users call for cabs, shop, send gifts and much more.
On the other hand is Line, mainly popular in Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand with a reported user base of over 500 million users only; but rakes a lot from the array of services offered. The app posted revenue of about $266 million for Q3 year 2015 with bulk of it from sale of the stickers in the app. The company also runs offline friends stores that do play a major role in its revenues across Asia.
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