It looks like Google has new plans to make a bigger mark in the messaging space beyond its Messenger and Hangouts apps.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the company has been working on a new mobile messaging service that utilizes artificial intelligence and chatbot technology for over a year.
From the sound of it, Google has Facebook Messenger specifically in its sights. Messenger has been the fastest growing of the top mobile apps over the past year. It's even catching up to YouTube in the U.S. according to Nielsen.
Facebook has of course been making a lot of improvements to Messenger, including an assistant-like feature to help people get things done. It has even added functionality to get Uber rides.
According to the Journal:
For its new service, Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., plans to integrate chatbots, software programs that answer questions inside a messaging app, the people familiar with the matter said. Users will be able to text friends or a chatbot, which will scour the Web and other sources for information to answer a question, those people said. It is unclear when Google will launch the service, or what it will be called.
Naturally, Google isn't commenting.
Images via Google, Nielsen